Water bond headed to voters

08/13/2014 4:44 PM

10/22/2014 2:19 PM

California voters will be asked to authorize $7.5 billion to bolster the state’s water supply, infrastructure and ecosystems in November, as lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday struck a long-sought deal to move a new water bond to the ballot.

An extraordinary drought that has strained California’s water supply spurred a concerted push for a new water bond. Lawmakers moved to replace an $11.1 billion previously slated for the ballot, convinced that voters would reject it.

Instead, voters will see a $7.5 billion measure that contains significantly less money for Delta restoration. The final sum represents a compromise both from Republicans, who called for $3 billion for surface storage projects, and from Brown, who sought an overall total closer to $6 billion.

Surrounded by beaming lawmakers, Brown signed the necessary legislation shortly after 9 p.m.

“We’ve got a real water bond, and we’ve got Democrats and Republicans that are more unified than I’ve ever seen, probably, in my life,” the Democratic governor said. “It was an amazing convergence over a big idea, and the big idea is that the future of California needs a lot of water and we’ve got to use it in the best way possible.”

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