Statement from Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff on Status of Water Bond Discussions

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

“Our caucus has continued to work with Democrats on a possible alternative water bond and we have had many discussions with stakeholders for some time.

“We have been very clear that an alternative water bond needs water supply and water movement.  It must give equal balance to expanding California water storage, protecting the environment, moving the water from where it is captured to where it is needed, and helping provide a more reliable and safe water supply for every resident.   Those priorities have not changed.  After all, what good is a water bond that doesn’t supply water or get it where it needs to go?

“Yesterday the governor provided a vague outline of a $6 billion bond that sounded more like a campaign speech than a solution. California needs a minimum of $3 billion to build two new reservoirs that will provide desperately needed water storage to capture water in wet years for use in dry periods.  The Governor’s proposal does not meet this minimum threshold.

“The Senate rejected a proposed $10.5 billion water bond in June which the Governor also opposed.  Republicans opposed it because it abandoned the statewide approach to improving water management, and would have jeopardized the co-equal goals of water supply reliability and Delta ecosystem restoration. It was clear that Democrats were not acting in good faith with their proposal as it was clearly a political stunt to appease their special interests.

“Californians are looking for real solutions to this drought and time is running out to find a realistic alternative to the current bipartisan water bond - Proposition 43 - that will be on the November ballot.  That bipartisan bond meets Democrats’ demands for clean and safe drinking water, water recycling, conservation and habit restoration. 

“While it’s not perfect, Proposition 43 would be an acceptable alternative than doing nothing.  It would be a shame for this governor and Democrat leaders to abandon Californians in the middle of a crisis.”