California state lawmakers are expected to vote this week to postpone a multi-billion-dollar water bond slated to be on the November ballot.
This would be the second time lawmakers took the $11 billion water bond off the table. They first planned to put it on the 2010 ballot, but postponed it until this year when lawmakers were afraid voters would reject spending cash on water right after a recession.
Now this November’s not looking much better to Democrats who have shifted their priorities to getting voters' OK on Gov. Jerry Brown’s temporary tax hike to prevent deep cuts to public schools and universities. Postponing the bond thins out the number of ballot measures competing with the governor’s initiative.
If they ever decide there is a right time to put it before the voters, lawmakers say the water bond will fund a “historic” deal. After fighting for decades over how to sustain a safe and reliable water supply, the legislators agreed to a deal that expands reservoirs and other water storage while still protecting the state’s main water supply, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Giant pumps suck water from the Delta to feed the state aqueduct which in turn provides H2O to millions of Southern Californians.
But now California’s voters will have to wait at least two more years before getting a chance to vote on the water bond.