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Assemblyman says he lost committee chairmanship for fighting water grab
Adam Gray
Assembly member Adam Gray (D-Merced)

Assemblyman Adam C. Gray, D-Merced, says he was removed as the chairman of the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee because of his attempts to stop the state from usurping water rights of local irrigation districts.

“As a result of my commitment to defend my district, Speaker Rendon has stripped me of my position as chair,” said Gray, a fellow Democrat of the speaker.

He explained that he voted against an “even more destructive version” of the water grab and that his own leadership punished him for it.

“This year, Speaker Anthony Rendon and State Water Board staff put forward special legislation to short-circuit the voluntary agreements being negotiated by the state and our local irrigation districts,” explained Gray. “The language was inserted into a budget trailer bill and gave the State Water Board staff the authority to implement an even more destructive version of their water grab without review and without even a public vote.”

He said that “no elected official should ever vote for policies that promise to destroy thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic opportunity in their district for the benefit of others. I remain unmoved. I would and will vote no again.”

Gray said the punitive action was similar to one that happened five years ago when he fought to pass legislation to hold the State Water Board accountable for the devastating economic impacts the state water grab will inflict on the people living in my district and the Valley. Despite active opposition from leadership, Gray’s bill was approved by a narrow committee vote, and he was summarily removed from my position on the Assembly Water Committee.

“I have spent my entire time in public office fighting Sacramento’s insatiable thirst for the Valley’s water. Every time I am punished by my own party’s leadership for standing up for my district, it is a reminder that I was elected to represent the people who live and work in Merced and Stanislaus counties.”