Thursday, November 5, 2009

Water Bond Makes Bad Budget Worse

On November 4th, the State Legislature passed an $11 billion water bond. This action has been widely described as an historic achievement. Unfortunately, this is true for all the wrong reasons.

This bond was crafted behind closed doors, never received a public vetting, and was passed on the fly in the middle of the night by legislators who lacked an adequate analysis of it. It brings our debt burden to historic new levels. And, for the first time, it requires the public to finance half the cost of new dams and reservoirs benefiting private interests.

By passing this bond, the Legislature is flirting with financial disaster. Already, the state is unable to pay for services demanded by Californians. We’ve just gone through three horrific state budgets to close a $60 billion gap. And, more troubles lay ahead. We face an $8 billion gap next year and a $15 billion gap after that. Servicing the debt on an $11 billion water bond will make our bad budget situation worse.

For more information, check out my remarks during the debate about the water bond on the Assembly Floor.