Legislative roundup: Wilk touts water bill, homelessness audit

State Senator Scott Wilk, left, speaks to constituent Richard Humanic about his concerns regarding the possible consolidation of Castaic Lake Water Agency and Newhall County Water District Feb. 11 at City Hall. Samie Gebers/ Signal

Senator Scott Wilk said he’s had two key legislative wins this past year that will impact Santa Clarita residents.

Wilk said Senate Bill 634, which formed one water agency for the Santa Clarita Valley after years of fragmented water control among various groups and after the boards of the Newhall County Water District and the Castaic Lake Water Agency voted to dissolve themselves in 2016, will have the greatest benefit.

“Senate Bill 634 brings a large private water company into public ownership, and adds transparency requirements and voter control where none existed before,” he said. “Economic impact and efficiency studies found that the new district will generate $14 million dollars in savings over the next 10 years, create more transparency for the ratepayer and enhance environmental and watershed protections.”

The water bill was passed in September.

Wilk also said his request to audit Los Angeles County Homeless Services Authority spending was approved by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, a move he hopes generates fair funding for homeless resources in Santa Clarita and the Antelope valleys.

A person’s zip code should not determine the level of services they receive from government. The request laid out a specific set of determinations to be made through the audit,” he said. “Primary among them was the ability, or lack thereof, of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority to adequately administer homeless funding throughout the region in a fair, transparent and equitable way.”

The audit is expected to be completed early next year.

When asked about his biggest legislative disappointment of 2017, Wilk mentioned Senate Bill 259, which he dubbed the “Pinocchio bill.” The bill would have fined the head of a state agency up to $20,000 if they knowingly presented presented false or misleading reports to the Legislature.  The effort was killed in the Senate Governmental Organization Committee.

But Wilk added: “You should never be wedded to a bill.”

The senator said he was still forming his legislative agenda for 2018.

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