Sacramento, CA —
California lawmakers returned after the Thanksgiving break expecting to vote on a major water bond after weeks of rumor that a compromise was near. However, there are no signs of any deals pending, and the Secretary of State has warned that the February 5 ballot deadline has passed, unless lawmakers waive portions of state election law and pay for supplemental ballot pamphlets. A measure still could go on the June or November 2008 ballots without such waivers.
The Governor is still trying to place a $10.7 billion water bond before voters on the February presidential primary ballot. The sticking point remains spending $3 billion set aside to build three reservoirs that are being sought by Republican lawmakers. Democrats want an annual legislative review that could divert the funding to other water projects. Republicans want a legal guarantee the money will be spent for dams.
The deadline for the February 5 ballot has been hard to pin down, as it changes depending on waiving notice rules and absorbing higher costs. Overseas military ballots must go into the mail on December 7, 2007.