[env-trinity] Riverside Press-Enterprise 7 1 2010
bwl3 at comcast.net
Fri Jul 2 10:38:42 PDT 2010
Kill water bond
Prop. 18 needs to disappear. The Legislature should pull this overblown
measure from the November ballot. Then legislators should create a
stripped-down water bond that avoids costly pork and stays focused on the
state's central water needs.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger this week called on the Legislature to shift
Prop. 18, an $11.1 billion water bond, to the 2012 election. That step
requires a two-thirds vote of the Legislature, but has the support of
legislators such as Sen. Dave Cogdill, R-Modesto, who produced the bond
legislation, and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento.
Politicians fear voters will not back an enormous water bond, given the
state's sputtering economy and huge budget shortfall.
Merely pushing the bond back two years will not improve a measure awash in
unnecessary spending. The $11.1 billion bond is more than twice the amount
of the state's largest previous water bond. And the measure is bloated with
billions of dollars for projects that have little to do with the state's
crucial water needs.
California does need to boost the collection and storage of winter storm
runoff. And the state needs to address the environmental ills in the
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, which threaten the viability of the state's
primary water system. But only about $5 billion in Prop. 18 would go toward
Nor can the state afford to pile up debt recklessly. Prop. 18 would add as
much as $800 million a year in debt payments to the state's deficit-ridden
general fund. Treasurer Bill Lockyer reported in December that the water
bond, along with the borrowing voters have already authorized, would push
debt service costs to exceed $10 billion annually in 2012-13 -- or more than
10 percent of projected state revenue.
A smaller, more focused bond is key to addressing the state's long-term
water needs. Voters should not have to pay for politicians' lack of fiscal
Byron Leydecker, JcT
Chair, Friends of Trinity River
PO Box 2327
Mill Valley, CA 94942-2327
415 383 4810 land/fax
415 519 4810 mobile
<mailto:bwl3 at comcast.net> bwl3 at comcast.net
<mailto:bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org> bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org
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