Asm. Budget Chair Evans Comments on Passage of State Water Bond

Assemblymember Noreen Evans

Assemblymember Noreen Evans

We received this press statement from Assembly Budget Committee Chair Noreen Evans on the passage of the State Water Bond legislation.

SACRAMENTO — The State Legislature passed an $11 billion water bond, along with a package of policy bills addressing water conservation and groundwater monitoring.  The following is a statement from Assemblymember Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa), Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, about the bond.

“This water bond is an historic achievement for all the wrong reasons.  It 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 across the state 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.

When discussing recent state budgets, the governor and others said the state could not afford to fully maintain its universities, community colleges, HIV/AIDS services, poison control centers, domestic violence shelters, state parks, health care for children, and in-home care for seniors and the disabled.  Paying back this water bond will come at the expense of these services that Californians expect.

It’s the same tired story all over again.  The Central Valley and Southern California plan to take water from the North by building a peripheral canal.  The rub is that they want Northern California to pay for it too.  All Northern Californians get from this bond is the privilege of paying the bill.”