The Legislature voted today to take an $11 billion water bond off the November ballot, delaying a statewide vote on the issue until 2014.
The bond measure, which was crafted by the Legislature in 2009 , was expected to face long odds on the ballot this year. Critics -- and even some legislators who voted for the bond -- say it is too large and contains too many appropriations not directly related to water infrastructure development and conversation.
But even members who spoke against the bill in the Senate voted for Assembly Bill 1422, the legislation to move the bond to 2014. The bill cleared the Senate on a bipartisan vote of 34-2 and passed the Assembly 69-6.
Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, cited a long list of issues with the bond in its current form on the floor, saying it should be repealed entirely. But the Davis Democrat said she decided to support the move because keeping it on this year's ballot would be "disastrous" for Gov. Jerry Brown's tax measure, which will also be up for in November.
This is the second time the Legislature has postponed a vote on the bond, which was originally slated for the 2010 ballot.
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said while the bond itself is being delayed, work on a deal to trim the size of the current bond should happen "sooner rather than later."
"If we're really serious about passing a bond measure in 2014, which I fully support, if we're serious about it, get to work now," the Sacramento Democrat said. "With human nature, inertia and politics being what they are now, this is merely a band aid and we need the water investment, that's the key. We need to pass a bond. Let's get to it."