Two years ago, I introduced a measure to replace the doomed pork-laden water bond from 2009 with a trim, focused and non-controversial bond that could win voter support and address California’s critical water needs, without threatening the Delta region by funding the Bay Delta Conservation Plan or the Delta tunnels.
Last week, after months of pushing and pulling and tough negotiating – with an injection of leadership from Gov. Jerry Brown – the Legislature finished that work and put a new $7.5 billion water bond on the November ballot.
If approved by the voters, it will be a victory for all of California and produce important benefits for decades to come.
This victory was possible only through the determined leadership of Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and the governor, as well many other legislators and their staffs from both sides of the aisle. In a rare demonstration of collaboration, the Legislature came together with near unanimous support to deliver a water bond that is fiscally responsible, meets critical water needs across the state, and importantly, has nothing to do with the highly unpopular $25 billion Delta tunnels proposal.
This bond funds critical water needs throughout the state:
Just as important, especially in the Delta, this bond provides significant benefits without also funding the proposed tunnels and sparking a north-south water war.
The Delta community won strong protections in this bond:
This bond is a compromise. No one got everything they wanted. But all of California gets what it needs. Last week was a historic moment that demonstrated government, at least here in California, can get things done when partisan politics are set aside.
I urge all voters, especially those in the Delta region, to finish this work in November and vote yes on Proposition 1.