Water wrangling goes down to the wire in Sacramento

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Gov. Jerry Brown says he and Legislative leaders are making progress on a plan to replace an $11 billion water bond on the state ballot with a less expensive version.

But time is running short. A deal will have to be struck by the end of the day or the current bond goes before voters in November.Brown and Democrats are pushing a $7.2 billion plan to increase the state’s water supply and restore rivers, streams and lakes in the state. The governor says the current bond is too expensive, has too much pork and is unlikely to pass.

“There’s been a lot of compromise,” Brown told reporters. “This is a very balanced, integrated plan. It’s not a grab bag.”

shastadamRepublicans are demanding an extra half-a-billion dollars in the bond for water storage.The other problem – for Republicans and environmentalists alike – is that the bond could be a first step to a pair of water tunnels beneath the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Democrats insist the bond is “tunnel neutral.” But opponents aren’t buying it.

Replacing the bond measure on the ballot requires two-thirds votes in both houses of the Legislature. Democrats have a two-thirds majority in the Assembly. But they need Republican votes in the Senate.

Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee has more on the fight over the water bond: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/08/12/6624165/dan-walters-new-water-bond-may.html#mi_rss=Dan%20Walters