The California Legislature narrowly push aside a wide-ranging water bond from the November ballot possibly saving it from likely defeat and did so without two local officials. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said postponing the initiative to 2012 will allow for fine-tuning the $11 billion bond measure.
Both bills voted upon Monday night barely mustered enough votes to pass. Although, the senate passed AB 1265 by a 27-7 margin, it needed a two-thirds majority. State Sen. Ellen Corbett voted against the bill. In the assembly, after a few rounds of horse trading was needed to gain approval and it did so 54-22 without Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, who also voted no. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the bill late Tuesday afternoon.
Opponents of the water bond say it was pork-laden and unwieldy and sought to allow the once-future Proposition 18 to likely founder at the ballot box this November with the state facing a $19 billion deficit. Instead, the Legislature will resume discussion in two years time on how to alleviate the state’s broken water system constructed 50 years ago with a population half the size it is today.