Governor puts forth preferred water bond parameters

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, July 9, 2014 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Early last week, Governor Jerry Brown met with leaders of both parties in the Senate and the Assembly to discuss a new water bond measure for November’s ballot. Brown offered to support a water bond proposal worth $6 billion with $2 billion for storage.  That proposal is leaner than the stalled proposal in the Senate that called for $10.5 billion with $3 billion for surface storage. With the onslaught of severe drought conditions across the state, access to water has become a public concern and a priority issue for the Governor and Legislature.

Should a measure be approved by the Legislature and placed on the November ballot, it will almost certainly include the state's ability to borrow billions to overhaul California’s water system, including drinking water and water supply reliability programs. Brown’s proposal also includes water money for habitat restoration, environmental rehabilitation and tunnels.

While it’s understood that a bond victory will require not only the Governor’s signature but also his backing, the Assembly still seems poised to approve a bond at around $8 billion and the Senate is considering something in the neighborhood of $7.5 billion.

Complicating the issue is the fact that an education bond appears likely to be on the ballot as well. With multiple bond measures on the same ballot, voters are more likely to turn both down.

The loose deadline for an agreement appears to be mid-August if a water bond is going to be ready to go to the voters this year.

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