Gov. Jerry Brown’s call for a drastically cheaper water bond set
off a fresh round of negotiations in the Capitol on Wednesday, as
lawmakers and stakeholders seek to craft a plan that addresses
the state’s myriad water needs without a bloated price tag.
From U-T San Diego, in a column by Steven Greenhut:
Few issues are more important to the future of California than
providing a reliable source of water for the state’s growing
population. But despite the sense of urgency caused by this
year’s particularly severe drought, legislators still aren’t sure
exactly what to do about the problem.
Water bond politics look poised to dominate the remainder of
California’s legislative session, with Senate leadership and Gov.
Jerry Brown billions of dollars apart on the size of a revised
water bond for the November 2014 ballot.
Gov. Jerry Brown told legislative leaders Tuesday that he wants a
$6-billion water bond to be put before voters in November — a
substantially lower price tag than proposals making their way
through the Legislature.
The governor told legislative leaders in private meetings Tuesday
that he opposes the existing water bond, which was negotiated by
former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and lawmakers in 2009, and
wants a $6 billion bond instead.
From the PPIC Viewpoints blog, in a post by Emma Freeman and
Much of the current water talk in Sacramento surrounds a new
state water bond for the November ballot. Yet as we show in our
study Paying for Water in California, most water spending—84
percent—is actually raised locally.
“Wielding two decades of Senate experience and sheer force of
will, Sen. Dianne Feinstein overcame environmentalists’
objections and Republicans’ skepticism in pushing through a
drought-relief bill that could ship more water to farms and
cities and weaken protections for fish.”
“From all over California, farmers, environmental lawyers,
wildlife groups, cities and even the Fresno County sheriff have
posted thoughts in a siege of protests to state officials about
the use of this year’s puny snowpack and half-empty reservoirs.”
From the Hearst Washington Bureau Below the Beltway blog, in a
post by Carolyn Lochhead:
“Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s revised drought bill is coming under
increasing attack from the left even as the California Democrat
tries to woo Republicans to speed the bill’s passage through the
Senate without committee consideration.”
“In separate, but overlapping lobbying trips that formally began
Monday, officials from both Fresno and Tulare counties have been
seeking support from elected lawmakers, all-important staff and
Obama administration higher-ups. These are annual ventures
that this year took on a different, wetter cast.”
“Sen. Dianne Feinstein is fast-tracking a bipartisan bill through
the Senate that seeks to unravel decades of carefully crafted
protections for the San Francisco Bay estuary in an effort to
divert more water to Southern California farms and cities.”
“Seasonal storms have exposed once more some perennial
political divisions over California water.
“Citing the latest rainfall, seven of the state’s lawmakers are
urging the Obama administration to free up more irrigation
deliveries for San Joaquin Valley farms. The muscular Capitol
Hill lineup is noticeable both for who’s on it and who’s not.”