Experts Expound

Experts Expound

With 37 million people and growing, California has about 12 percent of the nation’s population. Will the recently approved bonds really help California’s overburdened infrastructure, or is it too little, too late?

Too little too late–no choice.

Since these projects will take years to complete, taxpayers won’t be able to notice any improvements–and then it will be time for another $50 billion round. Watch for lots of stories about projects being delayed, boondoggles and fights over priority projects–and then Arnold at lots of ribbon cuttings!

Of course the $43 billion plus bond money will help the current overburdened infrastructure in California. However, the real question is whether the current infrastructure should be enhanced or whether California should be looking at infrastructure alternatives to handle the increased population anticipated in future decades. Unfortunately, this would take an uncommon level of vision which is currently in short supply and definitely no match for $43 billion of spending.

They’ll help but they won’t get us fully caught up. Gov. Schwarzenegger in January estimated the state will need $500 billion over the next 20 years. The $42.7 billion in bonds approved this year cover only 8.5 percent of that, and they move the state to the brink of its credit limit.

The real issue is whether the bond money is spent effectively or squandered. If it is seen as moving California forward, then voters will be open to future bonds and other measures to improve the infrastructure of the state. If Sacramento blows it, the consequences will reverberate for many years to come.

The people from whom we sought opinions: Andrew Acosta, A.G. Block, Roy Behr, Don Wilcox, Jon Fleischman, Evan Goldberg, Deborah Gonzalez, Dan Schnur, Jason Kinney, Tom Kise, Karen Hanretty, Kevin Spillane, Michael Houston, Adam Mendelsohn, Matt Ross, Sam Delson, Mike Madrid, Morgan Crinklaw, Dave Lesher, Richard Zeiger, Mike Madrid, Margita Thompson,Ken Gibson, Ralph Simoni, Bob Hertzberg, Scott Baugh, Steve Maviglio, Tony Quinn, Peter DeMarco, Adam Probolsky, Barbara O’Connor, Jack Pitney.

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