Friday, January 23, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Water bond measure fails in initial Senate vote

By
From page A2 | June 24, 2014 |

SACRAMENTO (AP) — Senate Democrats on Monday failed in an initial attempt to secure Republican support for overhauling the $11.1 billion water bond on the November ballot.

State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg brought the legislation to a vote because he said he wanted to force “an honest public discussion” about how to improve water supply in California, which is in a drought after three relatively dry years.

SB848 by Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, fell short of the required two-thirds majority vote needed to pass, but it’s not dead. After it failed 22-9, Wolk made a procedural move that will allow the bill to be reconsidered later in the summer.

The measure also lacked Gov. Jerry Brown’s support. Steinberg said the governor prefers a smaller bond.

“The governor is concerned about ongoing debt service and its impact on future budgets,” said the governor’s spokesman, Jim Evans.

Democrats say voters are likely to reject the existing ballot measure if it remains on the general election ballot because it is perceived as containing too much special interest pork and being too supportive of a contentious tunnel project to divert water from the Northern California delta to farms and residents in the south.

The Legislature passed the current water bond in 2009 but has delayed it from going before voters twice out of fear that it would be defeated.

Steinberg said a bond that is perceived as promoting the tunnels, a project that is a priority of the governor, is likely to be defeated by voters.

The new version put forth by Senate Democrats is slightly smaller at $10.5 billion. Supporters said it takes a neutral position on the tunnels, provides funding to improve the quality of drinking water supplies and maintains the $3 billion in the current bond to increase storage, primarily through building new dams or raising existing ones.

Maintaining money for dams was the top priority of Republican lawmakers, whose support is needed.

“If this is your signature priority, today is your chance,” Steinberg said.

Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber, said he believes voters will support the 2009 water bond that is currently on the ballot, given the water shortages facing many communities.

“I do believe that the voters of California, now having been confronted with this drought, will be sympathetic,” he said.

In the Assembly, several water bond overhauls are in the works, all of them less expensive than the Senate plan that came to a vote Monday. Any new version of the water bond will have to pass both houses of the Legislature on a supermajority vote and gain support from minority Republicans.

SB848 allocates $3 billion for safe drinking water projects, such as funding regional water management districts to remove sediment and make seismic retrofits at storage facilities. It would allocate $3.2 billion for wildlife and conservation projects as well as water recycling projects. Another $3 billion would be dedicated to dams and groundwater storage projects, while $1.3 billion would be used for cleaning up and preserving the delta.

Wolk’s bill would require any tunnel project to be approved by the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy, which is part of the Delta Stewardship Council created by the Legislature in 2009 to manage the delta’s ecosystem and water supplies. Republicans worry the conservancy group could withhold money from projects they favor.

Lawmakers say California’s three-year drought makes it more pressing for them to reach agreement on a plan that will include money for more groundwater storage, dams, conservation and habitat restoration.

California is suffering through a string of several relatively dry winters, which have led to a reduced snowpack and groundwater reserves. Brown in January declared a drought emergency, and some communities are rationing water. Farmland is being left fallow, and court rulings have ordered that more water be released from reservoirs to sustain fish species in Northern California’s delta.

If SB838 were approved, taxpayers would make annual payments of $683 million for 30 years for a total of cost of $20.5 billion, according to legislative estimates.

Steinberg acknowledged that the revision would have been more likely if Democrats held on to a two-thirds supermajority in the Senate.

————

By Judy Lin

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

.

News

Dude, Be Nice to Ty Brown

By Fred Gladdis | From Page: A1

 
 
UC regents shelve policy tying coach bonuses to academics

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Resolutions you can keep, with help from local businesses

By Bob Schultz | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Northeast preps as winter storm approaches

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Automakers to add electric charging stations

By New York Times News Service | From Page: A2

Legislators trade blame over drought bill

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
School board introduces new facilities director

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A3

Need a new best friend?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Meet the mayor for coffee at Peet’s

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Innovation opportunities on the agenda

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Beekeeper’s feast benefits UC Davis honey research

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Community invited to Fenocchio memorial

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Abraham event focuses on justice

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Rebekahs’ crab feed benefits local families

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Davis Arts Center welcomes students’ work

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Brick sales will benefit Hattie Weber Museum

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Have a heart for art?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

UCD plans ‘STEM-Tastic Sunday’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Artists offer a peek behind the scenes

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Yolo County seeking grand jury candidates

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Spend ‘Better Days’ with Speck at ALS fundraiser

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

‘Mating market’ trumps biology in relationships

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
Locals prepare for March for Real Climate Leadership

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

Hardwater plays at Soup’s On

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Walkers head out three times weekly

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

.

Forum

Falling into old patterns

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Speak out on death with dignity

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Uncompromising opposition

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

On solar and nuclear power

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Bill poses hardship to businesses

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Buy pottery to help peace

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Compassionate policy needed

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Too little parking causes a mess

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

.

Sports

Aggie men suffer first league loss

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Aggie gymnasts enter Hornets Nest

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Cycling shrine shifts gears in face of challenges

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

UCD’s Wade wins weekly tennis award

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
.

Features

.

Arts

Guitar-vocal duo will perform at DCC

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
‘Inherent Vice': A very bad trip

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
.

Business

Toyota’s lowest-priced car gets spruced up

By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Car Care: Tips to make the daily drive easier for commuters

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
.

Obituaries

Virginia Carolyn Keith Crowell

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Friday, January 23, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8