• News
  • SAN DIEGO
  • Water

Legislature struggles to revamp water-bond measure

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- The Legislature adjourned for its summer recess Thursday without meeting its top remaining priority, overhauling the $11.1 billion water bond scheduled to go before voters this fall.

The existing measure, which will appear on the November ballot as Proposition 43, passed in 2009 under then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger but has been delayed twice. Most lawmakers have agreed it is too large and contentious to win voter approval, but they have struggled to find a compromise.

“The most difficult thing about this whole discussion is it took six years last time,” said Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway, who served during the last negotiations. “It's like a telenovela with really ugly actors: It's drama, drama, drama.”

A replacement water bond requires support from Gov. Jerry Brown and two-thirds of lawmakers in each house, including Republicans in the Senate, where Democrats are short of a supermajority. All are under pressure from environmentalists, farmers, water exporters and trade unions, among other interests.

The most contentious issues for legislators to overcome include paying for water-storage projects and a provision seen as promoting Brown's delta tunnel project in Northern California to divert water to farms and residents in the south.

Brown, running for re-election on a platform of fiscal restraint, has pushed for a $6 billion bond. That leaves legislative leaders feeling pulled in opposite directions as they seek to cut spending while appeasing interests to win votes.

Senate Democrats unveiled a $7.5 billion plan for water projects Thursday, after a larger plan failed to pass a floor vote last week. But the plan reduces funding for storage, and supporters say it takes a neutral position on the tunnels. Both are sticking points for Republican lawmakers.

“In the water world, you can't always get everything you want,” said Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento.

Meanwhile, negotiations have stalled in the Assembly. The deadline to change the ballot measure is sometime in August.

Leave Your Comment

Comments are moderated by SDDT, in accordance with the SDDT Comment Policy, and may not appear on this commentary until they have been reviewed and deemed appropriate for posting. Also, due to the volume of comments we receive, not all comments will be posted.

SDDT Comment Policy: SDDT encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. All comments should be relevant to the topic and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. You are solely responsible for your own comments, the consequences of posting those comments, and the consequences of any reliance by you on the comments of others. By submitting your comment, you hereby give SDDT the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying and other information you provide via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. SDDT Privacy Statement.

User Response
0 UserComments

Leave Your Comment

Comments are moderated by SDDT, in accordance with the SDDT Comment Policy, and may not appear on this commentary until they have been reviewed and deemed appropriate for posting. Also, due to the volume of comments we receive, not all comments will be posted.

SDDT Comment Policy: SDDT encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. All comments should be relevant to the topic and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. You are solely responsible for your own comments, the consequences of posting those comments, and the consequences of any reliance by you on the comments of others. By submitting your comment, you hereby give SDDT the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying and other information you provide via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. SDDT Privacy Statement.