Despite Lack of Public Support, Legislature Delays Bad Water Bond Instead of Dumping it Altogether


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No on Proposition 18: Despite Lack of Public Support, Legislature Delays Bad Water Bond Instead of Dumping it Altogether


Bond’s prospects just as poor in 2012 as it is in 2010

Sacramento, August 9 – Members of the No on Proposition 18 Coalition today agreed with legislators who admitted that the $11 billion water bond is immensely unpopular with voters, but did not expect support to improve by 2012, when the measure is now scheduled to be placed on the ballot.

“The bond is bad now and it will be bad two years from now,” said Elanor Starmer, Western Region Director of Food & Water Watch, a consumer group organizing against the water bond. “The Governor called for postponement because it is so unpopular with voters. All the political punting in the world won’t change that. We’re confident that voters will reject it when it comes before them, regardless of the year.” 

“Voters want the right solutions to California’s water problems now, not the wrong solutions two years from now,” said Tina Andolina of the Planning and Conservation League. “The passage of A.B. 1265 just delays any progress on meaningful water solutions by keeping this disastrous bond on life support.” 

Opposition to the bond has been strong since its razor-thin passage by the legislature in November 2009. Indeed, voter disapproval of the bond was so strong that Governor Schwarzenegger appealed to the legislature to delay it to the 2012 ballot. Many liberal voters opposed the bond’s focus on dam construction while conservation, drinking water improvements, and other critical projects went under-funded. Many conservatives opposed the bond due to its fiscal impact – an estimated $22 billion over 30 years. 

“We heard a laundry list of reasons why the bond is bad for California during the legislative debate on AB 1265,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parilla of Restore the Delta. “Yet the legislature voted to keep the measure afloat for another two years. The problems with the bond will only grow more glaring with time.” 

“The bond’s $22 billion price tag will still be $22 billion in two years,” Jim Metropulos of the Sierra Club said. “Meanwhile, we have billions of dollars for water projects that have been approved by voters but are still unspent. Voters know that it’s unfair for special interests to be coming to the legislature for more money out of taxpayers’ pockets.”

“Now or two years from now – it doesn’t matter,” said Jennifer Clary of Clean Water Action. “The bond won’t be supported by voters because it is the wrong approach.”

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