Voters in Los Angeles will get the chance today to weigh in on a pair of ballot propositions heavily touted by Gov. Jerry Brown, who said their passage is essential to preparing the state for future droughts and ensuring California has a healthy “rainy day” fund during slow economic times.
Proposition 1 is a $7.545 billion bond measure placed on the ballot by the Legislature that would fund state water supply infrastructure projects, including surface and groundwater storage, ecosystem and watershed protection and restoration and drinking water protection.
The measure is the end result of years of debate in Sacramento. Brown and other supporters insist the proposition will fund water-storage projects, improving the reliability of California’s water supply during extended droughts — like the one now plaguing the state.
Detractors have primarily argued that the proposition will lead to the construction of more dams, leading to more diversion of water from Northern California rivers and threatening fisheries. They also contend the measure will lead to over-pumping of the San Francisco Bay Delta to help farming operations.
Proponents have accused opponents of distorting facts, saying the measure has across-the-board support from businesses, farmers, environmentalists and labor.
Proposition 2, also placed on the ballot by the Legislature, would make changes to the state’s reserve accounts, popularly known as the “rainy day fund.” The measure requires the state to annually transfer 1.5 percent of its general fund revenues into the “budget stabilization account.” It also requires the transfer of capital gains tax revenues that exceed 8 percent of the general fund.
Brown has hailed the measure as a way to protect the state from the swing between “boom” and “bust” economic times.