Randy Pench / rpench@sacbee.com

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg says the Legislature needs to rewrite a water bond for 2014 as well as spend money from prior bonds to address water needs.

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    Looks like Rep. Tom McClintock will get a challenge from the left. Democrat Kris Johnson plans to run in the Republican-dominated 4th Congressional District. The Granite Bay resident filed the necessary paperwork to run against McClintock, a Republican. Johnson, who has yet to formally announce her candidacy, said in a message posted to her website that she was frustrated and angry about the poor performance of elected officials to stem the economic crisis in the foothills.

    – Christopher Cadelago

The Buzz: To bond or not to bond?

Published: Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014 - 12:00 am

Steinberg urgently wants water bond on the ballot

With California into a third year of dry weather and several cities imposing restrictions on water use, the time has come for state leaders to contemplate putting another water bond on the ballot, Senate leader Darrell Steinberg said Wednesday.

“I think what’s going on now creates an urgency to seriously consider putting a bond on the ballot in 2014, and not later,” Steinberg said.

The Legislature has twice deferred putting a water bond on the ballot since lawmakers approved doing so in 2009. Gov. Jerry Brown has been noncommittal about whether he thinks voters should be asked this year to approve bond spending on new water projects.

Steinberg said lawmakers need to work on rewriting a water bond for 2014 as well as spending money from prior bonds to address immediate needs.

The Sacramento Democrat also said state leaders should rethink how they approach the controversial Bay Delta Conservation Plan, which would create two massive tunnels for moving water from north to south. He urged a focus first on measuring how much water could be saved through conservation, recycling and other means.

– Laurel Rosenhall

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