Wilk, Senate approve bills benefiting water and rail projects

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News release 

Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, voted in support of several bills to reform the California Environmental Quality Act to make building key infrastructure projects in the state easier, according to a news release from the senator’s office.  

Two local beneficiaries of these bills include a groundwater recharge project in the Antelope Valley, and a rail line connecting the High Desert to the Inland Empire and Las Vegas, the release said. 

“This is a win-win for constituents and for our state’s climate goals, ensuring access to precious water during the inevitable dry years and connecting commuters to jobs down the hill,” Wilk said in the release. “We all know there have been abuses of the permitting process for decades, stalling projects and driving costs through the roof. While I am very pleased to have supported these bills today, we need to go even further to make it easier and cheaper to build homes. Our work has just begun.” 

Senate Bill 145 helps speed up The Brightline West rail project, which will provide electrified passenger high-speed rail service from Rancho Cucamonga to Las Vegas. 

Senate Bill 149 will help the Willow Springs Water Bank in the Antelope Valley, located just outside of Senate District 21 near Rosamond. The Willow Springs Water Bank is designed to provide water authorities the ability to store up to 500,000 acre-feet of water in underground aquifers during wet years for use during droughts. 

As part of the consideration of the infrastructure package, Wilk was tapped to join the Senate Select Committee on Infrastructure Streamlining and Workforce Equity Committee, the release said. The group held its first hearing on June 29. 

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