The Congressional Budget Office released the cost estimate report for H.R. 1769, the San Luis Unit Drainage Resolution Act finding the legislation will reduce federal spending by $1.5 billion over the next ten years.
WASHINGTON – Today, the Congressional Budget Office released the cost estimate report for Congressman David G. Valadao's (CA-21)legislation, H.R. 1769, the San Luis Unit Drainage Resolution Act.
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) enacting H.R. 1769 would reduce federal spending by $1.5 billion over the next ten years.
Author of the legislation, Congressman David G. Valadao (CA-21) stated, “Today’s CBO Budget Score proves, if enacted, H.R. 1769 will do exactly what it was intended to accomplish – save taxpayers billions of dollars while improving water availability in California. Ensuring taxpayer dollars go towards meaningful projects rather than fighting litigation is the responsible and most efficient use of taxpayer dollars.” He continued, “Originally negotiated by the Obama Administration, and supported by the Trump Administration, this agreement restores local control to deliver the solution our farmers, families, and communities need.”
Highlights from the CBO Report, which can be found here, state H.R. 1769 would:
Reduce federal spending by approximately $1.5 billion over the next ten years (and by $1 billion in later years) by eliminating the statutory requirement for the U.S. to provide drainage service for land within Westlands’ boundaries
By avoiding litigation, save the American tax payers up to $2 billion from potential judgement and settlement values
Introduced by Congressman David Valadao in the 114th Congress, and again in the 115th Congress, H.R. 1769 would ratify a settlement agreement negotiated in 2015 between the United States and the Westlands Water District in California and would amend current law in accordance with provisions of that agreement.
The bill includes concessions made by both the Federal Government and Westlands Water District to resolve the dispute. Westlands will dismiss its drainage related claims against the U.S. and indemnify the U.S. for any damages for landowner claims arising out of pending takings litigation against the federal government.
Specifically, H.R. 1769, the San Luis Unit Drainage Resolution Act would:
Settle litigation mentioned above and relieve the U.S. of its multi-billion dollar statutory and court-ordered drainage obligation
Require Westlands to manage drainage water within its boundaries, in accordance with the federal and California law, and provide the Department of Interior the right to cease water deliveries to Westlands if it fails to do so
Require Westlands to indemnify the U.S. for any damages and pay compensation for landowner claims arising out of the Etchegoinberry litigation
Relieve Westlands of its existing approximate $375 million capital repayment obligations under its water service contract with the United States
Require Westlands to permanently retire 100,000 acres of land within its boundaries
Authorize the Secretary of the Interior to convert Westlands’ existing water service contract entered into under section 9(e) of the 1939 to a repayment contract under section 9(d) of the same act
Cap Westlands contract deliveries at 75% of its CVP contract amount
Congressman David G. Valadao represents the 21st Congressional District, which includes Kings County and portions of Fresno, Tulare, and Kern Counties.