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By Tim Hunt

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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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The drought drives lawmakers to action

Uploaded: Aug 14, 2014
The ugly drought the state is enduring coupled with the reality that voters were scheduled to decide on a water bond finally moved the governor and Legislature to action this week.
Wednesday night, the governor signed a bill putting a $7.5 billion water bond on the ballot in place of an $11.14 billion bond that was put on the ballot in back in 2009. That has rightfully been described as bloated because lots of goodies were added for legislators to win (buy) votes in 2009. It has since been twice delayed and now is in the trash bin of history.
Earlier this week, the Legislature took action to delay the printing deadline for ballots so it could list a new water bond and the governor's constitutional amendment for a rainy day fund in the top two spots on the ballot for propositions. The governor and Democratic leaders also announced a deal for about a $7.2 billion bond.
By Wednesday afternoon, Republicans had chimed in support and the total climbed to $7.5 billion and easily won more than two-thirds approval in both houses.
It's important that the legislators managed to agree—the state is mired in its worst drought on record and utilizing a water system that was built for 20 million people (there were about 17 million residents during the 1976-77 drought compared to almost 38 million now).
It took quite a bit of pressure before the governor engaged and his involvement was critical to a solution despite polling that showed the public wanted action and was willing to pay for it.
Through the water negotiations, the governor maintained his penny pinching attitude—not a bad thing given the state's billions in unfunded pension liabilities to say nothing of the wall of debt that will take another three years to reduce at the current plan.
Brown extended that attitude to a proposed $9 billion bond for school construction and rehabilitation that sailed through the Assembly unanimously with bipartisan authors including Alamo Democrat Joan Buchanan. After the governor's office announced its opposition—despite Buchanan's willingness to amend the bill to lower the total debt—the bill was assigned to the suspense file in the Senate Appropriations Committee. Suspense files is where the leadership tucks away bills to die without forcing or allowing members to vote. If no committee action is taken to move the bill, it will languish there and effectively die.
Without debating the merits of another bond for schools—state contributions have been part of a triad of funding for new schools along with local bonds and developer fees—the governor's recalcitrance is interesting when compared with his unbridled financial enthusiasm for the stunningly expensive and unproven high-speed rail. In the budget deal in June, he convinced the Legislature to dedicate 25 percent of revenues from the state's anti-greenhouse gas cap-and-trade system to the high speed rail—questionable expenditure under the law.
The down payment for a line that will not be high-speed and will run from nowhere to nowhere in the San Joaquin Valley is almost $10 billion with a pie-in-the-sky guess at $68 billion for the system. Remember the Bay Bridge is about four times over budget at more than $6 billion.
I guess, it is just a bit too much to expect any consistency from the politician once known as Governor Moonbeam.

Comments

Posted by Tom F, a resident of Castlewood,
on Aug 15, 2014 at 5:33 am

You reap what you sew. Libtards running this state and the libtards that vote for these libtards are ruining the Golden State.


Posted by Sunbeam , a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Aug 15, 2014 at 5:07 pm

You know, Tim, another way to say that it'll be three years before we retire that wall of debt is to acknowledge that these Lib-mensas -- the Guv and the super-majority Dems in the legislature -- have actually more-then-balanced the state budget, repeatedly (something your he-man Con-ans failed to do, ever.)

And you Could call 'penny-pinching' 'fiscally responsible' instead. But no -- despite all the reasons that you should be happy, you just hadda throw in that gratuitous 'moonbeam' ref. Har.

I do agree with you about HSR, but you've written That column several times previously. I know, it sucks not have so little to complain about that you're forced to recycle. Recycling, after all, is a government incursion on our god-given right to despoil the planet -- it won't be popular with your base.

Oh -- and Tom F -- it's "sow," like the pig except it's pronounced differently. Nobody reaps what they "sew," ya maroon. For you to be casting aspersions on other people's IQs is hilarious.


Posted by Sunbeam , a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Aug 15, 2014 at 5:07 pm

You know, Tim, another way to say that it'll be three years before we retire that wall of debt is to acknowledge that these Lib-mensas -- the Guv and the super-majority Dems in the legislature -- have actually more-then-balanced the state budget, repeatedly (something your he-man Con-ans failed to do, ever.)

And you Could call 'penny-pinching' 'fiscally responsible' instead. But no -- despite all the reasons that you should be happy, you just hadda throw in that gratuitous 'moonbeam' ref. Har.

I do agree with you about HSR, but you've written That column several times previously. I know, it sucks not have so little to complain about that you're forced to recycle. Recycling, after all, is a government incursion on our god-given right to despoil the planet -- it won't be popular with your base.

Oh -- and Tom F -- it's "sow," like the pig except it's pronounced differently. Nobody reaps what they "sew," ya maroon. For you to be casting aspersions on other people's IQs is hilarious.


Posted by Tom F, a resident of Castlewood,
on Aug 17, 2014 at 7:56 am

@sunbeam iPhone typing. Now FOAD.


Posted by Sunbeam, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Aug 17, 2014 at 10:48 am

TF: Yep -- iPad and autocorrect are what all the poor spellers are blaming these days. How high-tech of you. Remarkable that 'it' got all the other words right, albeit some were repeated.

Please continue using acronyms, so most folks are spared your meaning, and more important, there are fewer opportunities to demonstrate that your mental mansion is unfurnished. Who knows what your iPad might have done to those four words?


Posted by Ms. bunny, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 18, 2014 at 8:55 am

Right now? The most PRESSING issue of our state ARE water resources and doing all that we can to pass a worthy bill that will enlarge our footprint of conservation of water resources as a state. Educators are going to have to account far, far better for monies given/spent BEFORE I will continue to "pour" ANY monies into the system in the future. I commend Gov. Brown for moving in the direction of being part of the solution instead of an impediment in this effort. The trickiest part continues to be, keeping large-scale development AS AN ENTIRE STATE, "at bay" until we have better solutions presented and enacted.


Posted by Right, a resident of Birdland,
on Aug 18, 2014 at 9:19 am

How can we permit large-scale development when everybody is leaving the state because of what the unionized teachers and other public employees leeches are doing to us?

The idiots that are building these things don't realize that the state is going to be nothing more then illegal immigrants as long as real people are being squeezed in order to pay exorbinent BART wages and welfare allotments.

Build it, Go ahead. But they won't come. Except the illegals.


Posted by Sunbeam, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Aug 18, 2014 at 9:49 am

Web Link The actual stats beg to differ, but perhaps your news outlets don't deal in facts?

Anyway, by what date may we count on your departure? We remnants are forever grateful.


Posted by Right, a resident of Birdland,
on Aug 18, 2014 at 10:05 am

Leave it to the lib-tards to lie about statistics. A uptick in illegals sucking on the state's teet doesn't add up to much of anything. People, real people, citizens, are leaving the state in droves to places like Texas and North Dakota. Guess they need to lie like this to justify the high-speed train to nowheresville. Who's going to ride it accept more illegal aliens moving to the north. Get a brain Sunbeam.


Posted by Sunbeam, a resident of another community,
on Aug 18, 2014 at 11:44 am

Resident of Birdland, eh, brainy?

How else to convince my terminally closed-minded feathered friend that the "real people" (hoo, boy!) aren't leaving California? Maybe if state revenues are up? Because they are. Or if illegal immigration is down? Because it is. Or commute congestion worse? Because it is. Or a hundred other indications -- "but but -- they're All LIES!"

Remember , the eye patch goes on the pirate, not the parrot.




Posted by Ms. bunny, a resident of San Ramon,
on Aug 19, 2014 at 9:53 am

As a native Californian? I'm just sitting tight as those who choose to leave believing they will find a better climate, services and recreational avenues? LEAVE. My sibling left for cheaper all, boy, are they living to "regret" it (I had suggested they rent first...ohhhhh weellll...and now? THEY ARE MOVING AGAIN!)

I'd rather be "poor" here than any other place in the US. I'd rather do "battle" here on a myriad of issues than anywhere else if need be. So please y'all who complain bitterly? Don't "let the door slam you" on the way out. LOL! Thanks for freeing up more space for me! LOL!


Posted by Sunbeam, a resident of another community,
on Aug 19, 2014 at 10:46 am

Web Link (sfw)


Posted by Knut, a resident of Pheasant Ridge,
on Aug 21, 2014 at 6:31 am

My concern is that Pleasanton is forced to build some 4000 low income apartments. With the current situation of water restriction, we don't need this. Also, crime rate may well increase. Read the police report and the WEB.


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