Water Bond Update

Schwarzenegger Seeks To Take Water Bond Off Ballot and the “No on the Water Bond Coalition” pushes to scrap it altogether.

Press Release from Sacramento —

    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to pull an $11.1 billion water bond off the November ballot after spending much of last year fighting to get it there.

    The Republican governor had said improving the state’s water storage and delivery system was one of his top priorities.

    On Tuesday, he said the timing was poor and wants to delay the measure until 2012.

    He says putting the measure on the ballot this year, when the state faces a $19 billion budget deficit and record unemployment, would jeopardize its passage.

    He says the focus in the Capitol should be on fixing the deficit, reforming government pensions and creating long-term budget reforms. The Legislature would need to agree for the measure to come off the ballot.”

It’s good news that the governor wants to postpone the bond. We’d prefer a new, different bond that really addresses the water issues and the Delta crisis. As we have heard from our local legislators, there are many problems with the bond including:

  • Very little money is going directly to Delta restoration and increasing our water supply.
  • Too much money is earmarked for projects for which we have no plans.
  • $700 – $800 million per year will come from the general fund, at the expense of education and other critical needs.

The No on the Water Bond (Proposition 18) committee responded to the Governor’s announcement via a statement from Jim Metropulos of Sierra Club California:

    “We call on the Legislature to scrap this $11 Billion bond and start over. Even if it is delayed to a future ballot it will continue to be a bad back room deal, hatched in the dark of the night and loaded up with billions of dollars in pork projects to buy off votes.”

    “Even if it is delayed to a future ballot, it will still mean billions more dollars in debt for our State,” he added. “Even if it is delayed to a future ballot, it will not address the key points needed to fix our water infrastructure or create sustainable water policy. Moving the initiative to another election will not lessen our opposition!”

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