GOP on water bond delay

From Steven Greenhut:

Here is a statement from Assembly Republican Leader Martin Garrick, of Carlsbad, and Assemblywoman Jean Fuller, of Bakersfield, regarding the governor’s call to delay the water bond vote until 2012. The water bond is a tough issue. It is a wasteful, pork-laden deal, but there’s no doubt California needs water infrastructure improvements. It’s impossible in this state to build anything without it being filled with pork spending. But it’s clear that the bond was going down to defeat, as fiscal conservatives, overtaxed voters and environmentalists say no.

“Last year lawmakers laid important groundwork for improving California’s water storage and delivery system by passing the ‘Safe, Clean and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act.’  Investing in water infrastructure is crucial to our state’s long term economic strength,” said Garrick.  “However, California is facing a $19.1 billion budget deficit this year, which must be our priority.  The state’s strained financial situation could adversely affect voter support for an $11 billion bond for needed water infrastructure projects.  Postponing a vote on the bond while the state and national economy improves will not stop the important planning work that needs to be done to prepare for an overdue rebuilding of our aging water storage and delivery system.  I believe that voters understand the need to invest in an adequate supply of clean water for future generations of families, farmers and businesses in California.  I will continue to advocate for passage of this water bond on the 2012 election ballot.”

“While it is disappointing to postpone this critical investment in water infrastructure, we planned for the possibility of a delay when we wrote the bills,” said Fuller.  “As we move forward to secure bond funding, development of the Bay Delta Commission Plan will continue and the Delta Stewardship Council will continue working on the Delta Plan to improve water supply reliability.  In the meantime, we will continue to work to restore the flow of water from the pumps and ensure adequate water supply throughout the state.”

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