What is in this article?:
- $11.14 billion bond poised to go on November ballot in California
- $8.7 billion bond seen as response to Governor's complaints
Agriculture threatens to oppose any bond that does not have surface storage in it
California Citrus Mutual President Joel Nelsen, left, and California State Sen. Andy Vidak at a press conference near Bakersfield as 60 acres of Valencia oranges were uprooted because the grower has no irrigation water to keep them alive.
With all the talk of paring down a water bond proposal in California to meet recent the fiscal responsibility demands of Gov. Edmund G. Brown, Jr., Senate Republicans are floating a lighter water bond measure.
The $8.7 billion bond introduced by Republican Senators representing urban and agricultural districts is said to include key provisions that many in the state want – more water storage – while still providing money for drinking water issues, groundwater sustainability, climate change preparedness, Delta sustainability, flood management and water recycling.
The latest proposal is $2.44 billion lighter than the 2009 water bond measure, which is currently poised to go before voters in November as Proposition 43. While Prop. 43 addresses many of the concerns of a broad base of California interests, it has been publicly criticized by California Gov. Edmund G. Brown, Jr. as too expensive and “filled with pork.”
If approved for the state ballot in November, the new proposal would replace the current $11.14 billion bond that is ready to go.
In a recent letter to campaign donors, Gov. Brown was said to support a bond no greater than $6 billion. That pitch was seen as a “slap in the face” by some in agriculture.
Some in California agriculture fear that Gov. Brown will actively oppose Prop. 43 if it is left on the ballot, though one GOP staffer in Sacramento told Western Farm Press that would be “political suicide” for the Governor, who is up for re-election on the very same ballot, to attempt such a move during the worst drought in the state’s recorded history.