Lawmakers Nix Request for $100M a Year Toward Levee Work

SACRAMENTO -- Late Thursday evening California's Budget Conference Committee voted down a request that would have allocated $100 million annually from the state's general fund to go to the Department of Water Resources for repairs to the state's levees.

At the beginning of May, Republican Sen. Jim Nielsen of California sent an open letter to fellow Democratic senator and Budget Subcommittee 2 Chairman Bob Wieckoeski for the money to be allocated to repairs following the incident earlier this year at the Oroville Dam that caused stress on levees downstream.

Mike Inamine is the executive director for the Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency. Inamine says he testified as to why the levee repairs were needed.

"Potentially, it could create a very costly set of repairs or even a catastrophe in the future," Inamine told FOX40.

Inamine also added that after Proposition 1 was passed by voters in 2006, the levees as a whole are in much better shape now than before that time.

"We are so much safer now than we were back then," Inamine says.

Assemblyman Kevin McCarty told FOX40 through his communications director that he voted for the allocated funds, however, there weren't enough votes for it to pass.

No other lawmakers involved in the vote returned FOX40's request for an interview.