State Assemblyman Jose Solorio announced yesterday that, with some prodding, he was successful in getting the California Department of Water Resources to process payment to Orange County for Flood control “subvention” claims totaling approximately $51.8 million, representing six Santa Ana River claims, in county coffers by the end of January. DWR has already made the first payment of $4.8 million in subventions reimbursements. These are payments of funds that had previously been stalled at the state for several Santa Ana River and main-channel project claims.
To read the Department of Water Resources response to Assemblyman Solorio’s inquiry into flood control subvention claims, click here.
Solorio writes in his release:
To counter balance a $48 million shortfall the county suffered as a result of the state reneging on vehicle license fee distributions previously paid to the county this year, Assemblyman Solorio worked with county officials to develop options to address the unanticipated cut and identify other ways to get funds to Orange County. He learned that the County was owed significant amounts of money from the state and immediately requested DWR to start payment on Orange County’s aging, flood subvention claims for projects long completed.
“These Subventions Program payments are monies owed, and Orange County desperately needs that money now,” Assemblyman Solorio emphasized. “Honoring Subventions Program claims does not absolve the state from taking Orange County’s vehicle license fee revenue. That battle continues.”
In short, the state’s payment of these past due claims will help offset the hit to reserves that the county has taken in order to address the loss of the $48 million in Vehicle License Fees. The county carries on its books hundreds of millions of dollars in invoices to the state for services already delivered under state grants. Reserves are what allows the county to have the cash flow to operate while waiting for payment.