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Assembly Bill 854

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On March 1, the Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors voted unanimously to oppose Assembly Bill 854 authored by Assembly Member Chad Mayes (R-42nd District) from the Yucca Valley. The bill seeks to change the composition of the IID Board of Directors by adding six new directors from Riverside County in the 2020 election.

Enactment of AB 854 would give Riverside County residents a controlling interest on the IID Board in determining longstanding water and energy service area rights the IID holds in trust and is duty-bound to protect for all its customers.

A 99-year compromise agreement reached in 1934 between IID, Coachella Valley Water District and the federal government was integral in resolving legal disputes related to water and energy rights. This agreement has provided CVWD access to reliable Colorado River water supplies and helped secure IID’s rights to provide electrical service to residents in the Coachella Valley.

In March, the IID Board of Directors instructed staff to retain legal counsel and experts to advise it on all potential options related to the continued electrical service in the Coachella Valley, “We ask that the public have patience as we embark on this process since there are many moving parts to consider before this board can act upon any decisions,” said IID board president.

IID was established in 1911 and its legal boundaries are situated in Imperial County. IID’s powers and purposes, including those that allow it to also sell and distribute energy outside its legal boundaries, are set forth in state law.

Because IID is a non-profit utility focused on its customers, IID is able to provide some of the lowest energy rates in all of California.

Since its inception, the board has never wavered from its mission to provide reliable, efficient and affordably priced service to all the communities it serves. This was true when the district was founded in 1911 and it is true today.

More than 35 entities, including local governments, statewide associations, unions, chambers of commerce and agriculture all oppose AB 854.