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Talk of Revamping Water Bond to Heat Up in 2013

Dec 13, 2012

The Friant-Kern Canal delivers water to growers and cities on the eastern side of the San Joaquin Valley. (file photo)
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

There’s a push for a new look at the $11 billion water bond now scheduled for California’s November 2014 ballot.  As Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, some lawmakers want to reduce the bond’s size, while others want to rewrite it entirely.

Democratic Senator Lois Wolk represents the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta region – and she’s long felt the bond approved in 2009 was a bad piece of legislation.  Now that it’s been pushed back a second time, Wolk has introduced a bill that would start over:

“We’re looking at a workable, affordable, practical bond for which there is general consensus.” 

But Tim Quinn with the Association of California Water Agencies says that would be a mistake.

“That legislation was arguably a couple of decades in the making and it was nothing short of a political miracle.  And we believe it’s very important that we don’t go back and renegotiate that deal.”

Other lawmakers have floated the idea of reducing the size of the bond, but keeping the balance of funding goals intact.