Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Rising tide for mandatory water rationing

Drought conditions at Folsom Lake on Dec. 26, 2013.
Drought conditions at Folsom Lake on Dec. 26, 2013. The Sacramento Bee file

We haven’t yet reached the point of mandatory water rationing, but as California’s devastating drought stretches into a fourth year, voters are increasingly open to the idea.

In a new Field Poll, more than a third of respondents supported government restrictions on water use, an increase of 7 percentage points since last spring, with the largest backing in the Bay Area and other parts of Northern California.

A majority still favor the state’s current approach of urging residents to voluntarily curtail their own water use, however, and Californians remain strongly divided on other proposals for addressing the drought. Half of voters would support curtailing environmental protections if farmers or residents face serious water shortages, while 46 percent are opposed. Fifty-one percent are in favor of building new storage facilities on government parklands and forest reserves, compared to 38 percent who are against it.

Christopher Cadelago has more in his story from today’s paper, including statistical tabulations and an audio interview with poll director Mark DiCamillo.

VIDEO: Everyone is waiting on a plan from Gov. Jerry Brown to fix California's deteriorating highways, Dan Walters says.

FAST AND FURIOUS: Because launching a daily “vigil” outside the governor’s office earlier this month hasn’t moved the needle on efforts to secure overtime pay, home health aides are taking their protest to the streets. Caregivers and their supporters – angry over the recent reversal of a budget deal last year that secured overtime for employees of the state’s In-Home Supportive Services program – will rally by candelight, 6 p.m. at the corner of 11th and K streets, singing, praying and fasting for Brown to uphold his promise. Similar actions are taking place in Oakland and Los Angeles, and the fast will end Friday morning when workers deliver petitions to the Capitol at 11 a.m.

MAY THE WORKFORCE BE WITH YOU: In his January budget proposal, Brown set aside an additional $750 million in grants for adult education and career technical education to improve job training. The Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee will discuss Brown’s plan to align these programs with California’s workforce needs, 9:30 a.m. in Room 4203 of the Capitol.

MIND THE GAP: UC Santa Barbara education Professor Michael Gottfried presents research on prekindergarten alternatives for the children of immigrants that may help boost their school readiness and close the gap with native-born students, noon at the UC Center Sacramento on K Street.

Call The Bee’s Alexei Koseff, (916) 321-5236. Follow him on Twitter @akoseff.

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