Bond funding for the Sierra and Tahoe Conservancies still alive in Sacramento

The legislature this week is still debating whether to put a large natural resources bond on the ballot in time for the June election. With the “official” deadline for getting on the ballot expiring last Friday March 10, legislative leaders are hoping that Secretary of State McPherson will give them a few more days to find the 2/3 majority votes needed in the Assembly and Senate to put the bond on the ballot.

Earlier this month the Senate Natural Resources & Water Committee released a version of the bond that recommended $40 million for the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and $240 million for the Tahoe Conservancy, including $200 million for their long-needed Environmental Improvement Program. On Monday March 13, 2006 the Assembly considered a bill that includes $60 million for the Conservancy.

If no deal is passed in time to put a bond on the June ballot, the Legislature can again consider an item for the November ballot. There is already one potential natural resources bond that could appear on the November ballot, proposed by environmental organizations.