Senate Bill 821, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta: Delta Independent Science Board, was introduced by the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee in March to restore compensation for the Delta Independent Science Board members. The bill has been winding its way through the legislature.
SB 821 was passed out of the Assembly on Thursday, July 15 with 70 ayes, 0 noes, and 9 not voting. The bill is now on the Senate floor, awaiting a concurrence vote on the amendments in the Assembly. It will be voted on after the legislature reconvenes from summer recess on August 16.
If SB 821 is passed, the Governor will have 12 days to sign, approve without signing, or veto the bill. The Newsom administration has not taken a position on the bill, although members of the Delta Stewardship Council expressed support at the July 15-16 Council meeting.
The founding Chair of the Delta Stewardship Council, Phil Isenberg, joined with David Guy, president of the Northern California Water Agency to pen an Op Ed on July 12, Independent Science to Solve Delta Water Problems is Slipping Away. They stated:
So far, there is no formal position on the bill from the Newsom administration. Restoration of the board’s independent-contract status and funding must be at the forefront of the state’s discussions in the coming weeks …
We also urge the governor to sign this bill to clarify that “independent” really means “independent.”