The backers of an $11.1 billion water bond on the Nov. 2 ballot said they favored delaying the measure until 2012, citing an uncertain economy and volatile political issues.
Gov. Schwarzenegger called for the delay of Proposition 18, saying dealing with the deficit and government pensions and “fixing our broken budget system“ took priority. He said he would “work with the Legislature to postpone the bond to 2012 and avoid jeopardizing passage.”
Getting voter approval for big-ticket bond issues tend to be difficult when economic conditions are bad. The governor noted that a $9.95 billion high-speed rail bond was postponed twice during rocky economic times before ultimately being approved in 2008.
Jim Earp, a co-chairman of the campaign to approve the water bond, said he agreed with the move to delay the bond. Earp represents a coalition that favors construction of the water projects.
Because of the economic situation, “we agree with the Governor and legislative leaders that the best timing for the water bond is in 2012. We support postponing the bond to 2012.”
Removing the water bond, which requires a two-thirds vote of the Legislature, would leave nine propositions on the statewide ballot, plus elections for the offices of governor, U.S. Senate, and constitutional officers.