Proposition 1 – water infrastructure bonds – No
This proposition has the environmental community divided. On the one hand it provides for substantial funding for river restoration – funds which probably won’t come in similar levels from the legislature. But the price is too high.
Proposition 1 allocates 2.7 billion for more dams and surface storage. I’m not opposed to the latter as unfortunately Los Angeles and other southern California communities never bothered to build reservoirs – they would take up space which could be used for more tracts and malls. Apparently it never occurred to the planners of the time that the Colorado River would be overtaxed and they probably expected that they could muscle through more diversions despite ballot defeats such as the peripheral canal proposition in 1982.
It is opposed by the Center for Biological Diversity and Food and Water Watch on the basis that the proposed projects and diversion policies may lead to the collapse of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta and seriously endanger species including the Chinook salmon, smelt, and steelhead, increase the salinization problems, and feed into unsustainable growth polices.
Leave the dams and diversions out of the mix, and I can support it.
Proposition 2 – Budget “Rainy Day Fund” Stabilization – Yes
I don’t like the provision which deprives local school districts of the ability to maintain the reserves at their desired amounts, and I don’t quite get why the proponents found that necessary. But other aspects of the proposition strengthen the rainy day fund so that it can maintain schools and colleges – the proposition makes special provision for them so that students aren’t held hostage in every budget crisis – is worth supporting. It does require that half the fund go to paying pensions and other debts, but it pretty much establishes a mandate for prioritizing education, and that’s a good thing.
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