Wolk and Yamada Oppose Move to Delay Water Bond For Two Years

Wolk-YamadaProposition 18, one of the more contentious issues on the upcoming ballot, has been pushed back to 2012.  Yesterday Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger  signed legislation that would delay the vote until 2012. The governor and other supporters of this measure fear that with the state’s economy struggling, the proposition would be defeated.

Opponents of the legislation were quick to seize the moment and complain that instead of delaying the legislation, they ought to dump it altogether.

Assemblymember Mariko Yamada, who represents Yolo County, is one of the staunch opponents of the bond.  She announced that she had voted a “resounding NO.”

“Proposition 18 should not be delayed, it should be repealed,” said Assemblymember Yamada.  “The same issues that we faced before – unrelated projects, excessive debt burden and minimal Delta representation in discussions – have not changed. AB 1260 is a precedent-setting measure that ensures the legacy of the current governor without a clear purpose as to why.  AB 1265 delays implementation of a water infrastructure funding solution that was sold as being so urgent, passage could not wait a few months in order to have a more carefully crafted piece of legislation.  Now the same majority who put this bond on the ballot wants to wait another two years, without any promise of revision.”

“This $11 billion general obligation bond will further strain the State’s General Fund and continues to be fiscally irresponsible,” continued Yamada.  “I voted NO because Californians want us to start over and come to a consensus that achieves the goal of protecting the Delta and ensuring future water supplies in a fiscally responsible way.”

She was joined in the condemnation by other staunch opponents of the bond that would spend $11.1 billion on a variety of water infrastructure.

“What greater opportunity would you have to improve it than to delay it for two years?” said Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, addressing those who wanted to kill it altogether.

Senator Lois Wolk, who represents Yolo County in the Senate, said that the measure ought to be on the November ballot as planned so it could be voted down by the voters.  She is concerned that the measure would increase the state’s reliance on the Delta, the preservation of which has been a hallmark issue of her legislative career.

“We can’t afford it. It’s fiscally irresponsible to move this forward, even to 2012,” said Senator Wolk. “It’s not going to get any better.”

Other critics simply want the measure dumped.

“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.”

“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.”

At this point the measure will go forward in 2012.  This point is unlikely to go away or be resolved in the next two years.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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  1. justoutsidetown

    Hurray for Lois Wolk who speaks the truth.

    The State is B R O K E .. why don’t people get that fact?

    And besides, a peripheral canal is a Delta destroyer so those So Cal folks can wash down their driveways.

    One positive aspect of the new Great Depression is that it will stop a lot of BS ‘projects’ from being built with borrowed money we can never pay back.

    There is no magic unicorn pooping out gold nuggets ! We are in for a massive economic ‘reset’. Better get used to it.

  2. E Roberts Musser

    My sense is this bill is DOA whenever it is put on the ballot… and the proponents know it. I also suspect the governor is just trying to save face… I wouldn’t be surprised if the bill is ultimately tabled indefinitely – the mood of the electorate is not pretty and incumbents have to worry…

  3. Perezoso

    Herr Girly Mann marches on. Actually Ahhnuld has nothing to do with it–he most likely doesn’t know H20 issues from his steroids jar. Some of his wealthy corporate cronies told him to float another bond–that’s how they make money, the old-fashioned way–they swindle it via bonds.

  4. E Roberts Musser

    To Perezoso: Good point! By the “governor” saving face, I never meant to imply he personally knew anything about water issues! But his handlers do – and knew this legislation was DOA if put on the ballot now and would make their boss/incumbents supporting it look bad…

  5. Perezoso

    Really, if Cal. “Democrats” had some spine they would subpoena all of Ahhnuld’s communications from the last few years and put him on trial (at least Brown Act) , and then into prison where the pedazo de mierda belongs for the rest of his life.


  6. justoutsidetown

    Just FYI, if California DOES proceed with this bond, guess who would do the bond deal ?

    Kathleen Brown.. sister of Governor Brown. The same Kathleen brown who ran for governor is now the California Bond dealer for Goldman Sachs. How about that folks!

    This is sick stuff folks. Start paying attention. Everyone one of them is in bed with each other.

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