Sacramento, Calif. — Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed legislation to put a comprehensive water bond before voters this November. The legislation, AB 1471, replaces the current $11.1 billion water bond on the November ballot. The bipartisan legislation passed the Senate 37-0 and the Assembly 77-2.
"Water is the lifeblood of any civilization and for California it's the precondition of healthy rivers, valleys, farms and a strong economy," said Governor Brown. "With this water bond, legislators from both parties have affirmed their faith in California's future."
The new bond includes $7.12 billion in new debt, plus the repurposing of existing unspent bond funds of $425 million for a total of $7.545 billion. None of the repurposed bond funds will be taken from existing projects. The measure will be Proposition 1 on the November ballot.
The bond provides for water use efficiency and recycling, groundwater cleanup and management and $2.7 billion for additional water storage. It invests in safe drinking water, particularly in disadvantaged communities, and provides for watershed restoration and increased flows in some of California's most important rivers and streams. An outline of the final bond can be found here.
Governor Brown also announced that he vetoed identical legislation, SB 866 by Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis).
For full text of the bills, visit: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov.
The water bond is supported by a broad array of agricultural, business, labor, environmental, water and wildlife organizations, including: Agricultural Council of California, Western Agricultural Processors, Clean Water Action, Association of California Water Agencies, American Rivers, Audubon Society, Bay Area Council, California Alliance for Jobs, California Chamber of Commerce, California Conference of Carpenters, California Farm Bureau Federation, California Labor Federation, California League of Conservation Voters, California-Nevada Conference of Operating Engineers, California State Pipe Trades Council, California Trout, California Waterfowl Association, California Coalition of Utility Workers, Community Water Center, Defenders of Wildlife, Ducks Unlimited, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Natural Resources Defense Council, San Diego County Water Authority, Santa Clara Valley Water District, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, State Association of Electrical Workers, State Building and Construction Trades Council of California, California State Council of Laborers, Sonoma County Water Agency, The Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited, Western Growers Association, WateReuse California, Defenders of Wildlife, Northern California Water Association, California Building Industry Association, Westlands Water District, Yuba County Water Agency, California Fresh Fruit Association, Sacramento County, Contra Costa County, Yolo County and Solano County.