California Proposition 1, Water Bond (2014)

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Proposition 1
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Type:Bond question
Referred by:California State Legislature
Topic:Bond issues on the ballot
Status:Approved Approveda
2014 propositions
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June 3
Proposition 41Approveda
Proposition 42Approveda
November 4
Proposition 1Approveda
Proposition 2Approveda
Proposition 45Defeatedd
Proposition 46Defeatedd
Proposition 47Approveda
Proposition 48Defeatedd
EndorsementsFull text
Ballot titlesFiscal impact
Local measures

California Proposition 1, the Water Bond (Assembly Bill 1471), was on the November 4, 2014 ballot in California as a legislatively-referred bond act. This measure was approved. This measure replaced a previous measure known as Proposition 43.[1]

The measure will enact the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014. Proposition 1 will:[2]

  • Authorize $7.12 billion in general obligation bonds for state water supply infrastructure projects, such as public water system improvements, surface and groundwater storage, drinking water protection, water recycling and advanced water treatment technology, water supply management and conveyance, wastewater treatment, drought relief, emergency water supplies, and ecosystem and watershed protection and restoration.
  • Appropriate money from the General Fund to pay off bonds.
  • Require certain projects to provide matching funds from non-state sources in order to receive bond funds.

Specific spending proposals in the proposition include:[2]

  • $520 million to improve water quality for “beneficial use,” for reducing and preventing drinking water contaminants, disadvantaged communities, and the State Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund Small Community Grant Fund.
  • $1.495 billion for competitive grants for multibenefit ecosystem and watershed protection and restoration projects.
  • $810 million for expenditures on, and competitive grants and loans to, integrated regional water management plan projects.
  • $2.7 billion for water storage projects, dams and reservoirs.
  • $725 million for water recycling and advanced water treatment technology projects.
  • $900 million for competitive grants and loans for projects to prevent or clean up the contamination of groundwater that serves as a source of drinking water.
  • $395 million for statewide flood management projects and activities.

Gov. Jerry Brown (D) called on the legislature to replace the previous $11.14 billion bond (Proposition 43) with a cheaper $6 billion bond on June 25, 2014.[3] Brown called the previous water bond "a pork-laden water bond… with a price tag beyond what’s reasonable or affordable."[4] The legislature passed the new $7.12 billion bond on August 13, 2014.

The original water bond was moved twice. Originally certified to be on the state's 2010 ballot, it was removed and placed on the 2012 ballot. On July 5, 2012, the state legislature approved a bill to take the measure off the 2012 ballot and put it on the 2014 ballot.

Election results

California Proposition 1
Approveda Yes 4,771,350 67.13%

Election results via: California Secretary of State

Text of measure

See also: Ballot titles, summaries and fiscal statements for California 2014 ballot propositions

Ballot title:[5]


Official summary:

The long-form summary read:[5]

  • Authorizes $7.12 billion in general obligation bonds for state water supply infrastructure projects, such as surface and groundwater storage; ecosystem and watershed protection and restoration; drinking water protection; water supply management; water recycling and advanced water treatment technology; and flood control.
  • Reallocates $425 million of unused bond authority from prior water bond acts, for same purposes.
  • Appropriates money from the General Fund to pay off bonds.
  • Requires certain projects to provide matching funds from non-state sources in order to receive bond funds.[6]

Fiscal impact statement:[5]

(Note: The fiscal impact statement for a California ballot initiative authorized for circulation is jointly prepared by the state's Legislative Analyst and its Director of Finance.)

  • Increased state bond repayment costs averaging $360 million annually over the next 40 years.
  • Savings to local governments related to water projects, likely averaging a couple hundred million dollars annually over the next few decades.
CA 2014 Prop 1 Fiscal Impact.png


Californians last approved a water-related bond in 2006, known as Proposition 84. The measure authorized $5.4 billion in bonds for water projects. Proposition 84's supporters spent $11.4 million on their campaign urging a "yes" vote. In 2005, voters approved Proposition 50, which issued $3.4 billion for water projects.[7] Between 1996 and 2006, Californians approved about $11 billion in bonds for water projects.[8] Proposition 1 in 1960 originally created the State Water Project that has been regularly replenished with additional water project bond votes since then.


California Yes 1 & 2 2014 logo.png

The campaign in support of the proposition was led by Yes on Props 1 & 2.[9]




  • California Democratic Party[12]
  • California Republican Party[13]
  • California Farm Bureau Federation[10]
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Audubon California
  • California Chamber of Commerce
  • Delta Counties Coalition
  • Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Ducks Unlimited
  • American Rivers
  • Silicon Valley Leadership Group
  • Natural Resources Defense Council
  • California League of Conservation Voters[14]
  • Northern California Water Association
  • State Building and Construction Trades Council of California
  • Association of California Water Agencies
  • Western Growers
  • League of California Cities[15]
  • California State Association of Counties
  • California Citrus Mutual[16]
Water authorities and boards
  • Fresno Irrigation District[10]
  • Friant Water Authority
  • Long Beach Board of Water Commissioners[17]
  • Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
  • San Diego Water Authority


  • Sean Parker, co-founder of Napster[18]


Gov. Jerry Brown (D), Paul Wenger, President of California Farm Bureau Federation, and Mike Sweeny, California Director of The Nature Conservancy, wrote the argument in favor of Proposition 1 found in the state’s official voter information guide:


California is in a serve, multi-year drought and has an aging water infrastructure. That is why Republicans and Democrats and leaders from all over California came together in nearly unanimous fashion to place this fiscally responsible measure on the ballot…


Proposition 1 will not raise taxes. It is a no-frills investment in critical projects that doesn’t break the bank - it even reallocates money from unused bonds to make better use of the money.


California’s economy depends on a reliable water supply. Proposition 1 secures our water future, keeps our family farms and businesses productive, and puts Californians to work building the new facilities we need to store, deliver and treat water.


Proposition 1 will clean up our contaminated groundwater which serves as a critical buffer against drought by providing additional water in years when there is not enough rainfall or snow.

Proposition 1 expands water recycling and efficiency improvements making the best use of our existing supplies.

Proposition1 provides funding for clean drinking water in communities where water is contaminated.


Proposition 1 invests in new storage increasing the amount of water that can be stored during wet years for the dry years that will continue to challenge California.


Proposition 1 protects California’s rivers, lakes and streams from pollution and contamination and provides for the restoration of our fish and wildlife resources.




—Gov. Jerry Brown, Paul Wenger and Mike Sweeny[10]

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) offered support for Proposition 1, despite some environmental groups opposing the measure. The following is an excerpt from a post on why the group supported the proposition:

NRDC fought hard to ensure that legislators crafted a bond that’s good for California’s environment and economy. And while it’s not perfect, it has broad bipartisan support and is backed by conservation groups, local water districts, business and labor leaders, editorial boards all around the state… because we all know that this bond does as much as it can for as many people and groups as possible, while ensuring that our tax dollars go as far as possible to address California’s water needs.

So here’s why we support Proposition 1:

1. Prop 1 will strengthen California’s water system by investing in much-needed local water supply projects like water recycling, groundwater cleanup, stormwater capture, water conservation, and other regional water supply projects around the state. The vast majority of these funds will go to local water districts (Prop 1 generally requires a local match for projects). Using a transparent and competitive grant process will help ensure we get the most bang for the buck and create significant new, sustainable water supplies for communities around the state...

2. Prop 1 will help provide safe drinking water for all Californians, with an emphasis on disadvantaged communities. It’s estimated that more than 1 million Californians (and possibly as many as 3 million!) cannot safely drink the water that comes out of their tap because of contamination from arsenic, nitrates from agricultural pollution, perchlorate from industrial pollution, and other toxics. Most of these households rely on groundwater in rural communities and are not connected to a water treatment plant or water district.

3. Prop 1 invests in environmental restoration projects around the state, including funding for the San Joaquin River, the Salton Sea, the L.A. River, and coastal habitat, as well as water supply to the state's wildlife refuges. Prop 1 would make significant investments to help restore the health of rivers, wildlife, the coast and watersheds across the state, in many cases working through local conservancies that have a strong track record of success. This helps sustain salmon and other native fisheries (and the thousands of jobs that depend on them), helps provide healthy rivers for the public to enjoy, and can help create new water supply (for instance, through mountain meadow restoration or through floodplain restoration that helps with stormwater capture and groundwater recharge)...

4. Prop 1 does not advance the State’s $25 billion flawed Bay Delta Conservation Plan, the proposal to build two massive tunnels under the Delta and divert unsustainable amounts of water...

5. Prop 1 is not earmarked for new dams. Critics cite concerns about funding for surface and groundwater storage, but this simply isn’t the case...

Ultimately, NRDC is committed to making sure that Prop 1 funds are well spent. We’ll continue to watch over bond spending and work to ensure that economically infeasible and environmentally harmful dam projects like Temperance Flat are not funded from the bond or built.[6]

—Natural Resources Defense Council[19]


Total campaign cash Campaign Finance Ballotpedia.png
as of December 31, 2014
Category:Ballot measure endorsements Support: $21,820,691
Circle thumbs down.png Opposition: $101,149

A total of eleven ballot measure campaign committees registered in support of the initiative:[20]

Note: A number of the campaign committees supported Proposition 1 and Proposition 2.
Committee Amount raised Amount spent
California Business Political Action Committee, Sponsored by the California Chamber of Commerce $1,169,500 $958,623
Wetlands Conservation Committee, Sponsored by Ducks Unlimited, Audubon California and The Nature Conservancy, Yes on Prop. 1 $265,000 $241,075
Conservation Action Fund - Yes on Proposition 1 and 2 - Sponsored by Conservation Organizations $1,042,526 $831,277
Sac. Valley Water & Rice for Prop 1 $72,356 $72,819
Brown; Yes on Props 1 and 2 A Bipartisan Coalition of Business, Labor, Republicans, Democrats and Governor $17,690,658 $16,378,490
Think Long Committee, Inc., Sponsored by Nicolas Berggruen Institute Trust, Supporting Propositions 1 & 2 (Non-Profit 501(C)(4)) $250,000 $250,000
Western Plant Health Association, Supporting Propositions 1 and 2 (Non-Profit 501 (C) (6)) $100,000 $100,000
NRDC Action Fund California Ballot Measures Committee - Yes on Prop. 1 $12,653 $11,703
Southern California District Council of Laborers Issues PAC $203,662 $86,263
Laborers Pacific Southwest Regional Organizing Coaltion Issues PAC - Yes on Props 1 and 2 $842,896 $430,552
The California Conservation Campaign $171,440 $177,351
Total $21,820,691 $19,538,153

The following are the donors who contributed $250,000 or more to the campaign in support of the initiative as of December 31, 2014:[20]

Note: Some of these donors gave their money to a committee that was simultaneously supporting more than one ballot measure. When that is the case, it is not generally possible to break down how much of that donor's money specifically was spent on the campaign for a particular proposition. Those contributions are listed below with shading; readers should not assume that all or even most of a donation to a multi-purpose committee was used for expenditures related to this particular proposition.
Donor Amount
Brown for Governor 2014 $5,196,529
Sean Parker $1,000,000
L. John Doerr $875,000
California Alliance for Jobs - Rebuild California Committee $533,750
The Nature Conservancy $518,624
California Hospitals Committee $500,000
Doris F. Fisher $499,000
Health Net $445,600
Robert Fisher $400,000
351,000 $351,000
Area Energy LLC $250,000
California American Council of Engineering Companies $250,000
California Farm Bureau Federation $250,000
California Association of Hospitals and Health Systems $250,000
Dignity Health $250,000
Kaiser Permamente $250,000
Northern California Carpenters Regional Council Issues PAC $250,000
Reed Hastings $250,000
SW Regional Council Of Carpenters $250,000
Think Long Committee, Inc. $250,000
Western Growers Service Corporation $250,000
William Fisher $250,000

Campaign advertisements

A Yes on 1 & 2 ad, titled "Firefighter," advocating for Proposition 1 and Proposition 2

A Yes on 1 & 2 ad, titled "Pendulum," advocating Proposition 1 and Proposition 2

A Yes on 1 & 2 ad, titled "Folsom," advocating Proposition 1 and Proposition 2

A Yes on 1 & 2 ad, titled "50 Years," advocating Proposition 1 and Proposition 2

A Yes on 1 & 2 ad, titled "Roller Coaster," advocating Proposition 1 and Proposition 2

A Yes on 1 & 2 ad, titled "Farmer Jake," advocating Proposition 1 and Proposition 2


California No on Prop 1 2014 logo.jpg

The campaign against the measure was led by Vote NO on Proposition 1.[21]



Rep. Wesley Chesbro (D-2) and Rep. Tim Donnelly (R-33) were the only legislators to vote against placing AB 1471 on the November ballot.[2]


  • AFSCME District Council 57[22]
  • Ballona Institute
  • Butte Environmental Council
  • California Sportfishing Protection Alliance
  • California Striped Bass Association
  • California Water Impact Network
  • Coast Action Group
  • Center for Biological Diversity
  • Central Delta Water Agency
  • Concerned Citizens Coalition of Stockton
  • CREDO Action[23]
  • Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC)
  • Environmental Water Caucus
  • Factory Farm Awareness Coalition
  • Friends Committee on Legislation of California
  • Friends of the Eel River
  • Friends of the River
  • Food and Water Watch
  • Foothill Conservancy
  • Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations
  • Potrero Hill Democratic Club
  • Pulga Rancheria Concow Maidu Indians
  • Restore the Delta
  • Sacramento River Preservation Trust
  • San Francisco Baykeeper
  • San Francisco Crab Boat Association
  • Save the American River Association
  • Small Boat Commercial Salmon Fishermen’s Association
  • Sherman Island Duck Hunters Association
  • Sonoma County Conservation Action
  • South Delta Water Agency
  • Southern California Watershed Alliance
  • Tar Sands Action
  • Wetlands Defense Fund
  • Wild Heritage Planners
  • Winnemem Wintu Tribe


The California Sportfishing Protection Alliance issued a "statement of opposition" to Proposition 1. The group provided 14 reasons to vote against the proposition. The following is a selection from those reasons:

1. Undermines the public trust doctrine.

Water in rivers and streams, like the air people breathe, belongs to the people of California as part of the public trust… Private interests have a right to use the public’s water for beneficial purposes, as long as the public’s ownership in healthy rivers is protected. The Bond requires taxpayers to enrich a few wealthy water users by purchasing water the public already owns, at inflated prices, to protect the public’s rivers and environment. It’s a retread of previously discredited programs that allowed speculators to reap millions in profit selling the public’s water back to the public.

2. Undermines the principle of beneficiary pays.

The major reason more dams and other environmentally damaging projects have not been constructed in recent decades is the principle, stemming from approval of the State Water Project in 1960, that beneficiaries of water projects, not taxpayers, must pay for new projects. The Bond turns the beneficiary pays principle on its head by requiring taxpayers to pay for projects benefiting special interests...

3. Undermines the principle that projects should mitigate adverse impacts.

Projects have long been legally responsible for mitigating their adverse impacts. Many, if not most, of the watershed protection and restoration projects that will be funded by the Bond are efforts to repair and mitigate environmental damage caused by projects that were constructed by and for special interests… Taxpayers should not be on the hook because regulators failed to require special interest projects to mitigate their adverse impacts.

4. Ushers in a new era of big dams.

The Bond includes the largest appropriation for new dams in the state’s history… A number of dam projects that had been abandoned because of low water yield and financial infeasibility are being resurrected in response to the Bond’s commitment of billions of taxpayer dollars for dams. If the Bond passes, fishermen and environmentalists can expect to find themselves spending decades fighting new dam schemes on rivers throughout the state...

7. Provides little cost-effective near-term drought relief.

Funds for recycling, conservation and groundwater cleanup were slashed 36% in the final version of the Bond in order to provide money for expensive water purchases and speculative new dams that will not be operational for decades… In essence, the Bond sacrifices funds for proven near-term projects that would create “new” lower cost water, contribute to regional self-sufficiency, reduce dependency on the Delta and provide drought relief in order to subsidize long-term pie in the sky projects benefiting the hydraulic brotherhood...

9. Sabotages efforts to meaningfully resolve California’s continuing water crisis.

Prop. 1 is a red herring that diverts attention from the real causes of the state’s water crisis and the steps and resources required to address it. The water crisis is the result of the over-appropriation, waste and inequitable distribution of limited water supplies and the failure to balance the public trust…

10. Crowds out other critical investments.

The Bond imposes an insidious hidden cost by crowding out critical investments in public schools, roads, public health and safety. California cannot afford to provide lavish subsidies to special interests, while ignoring existing and urgent infrastructure needs...

11. Is fiscally irresponsible.

California is staggering under a $777 billion debt and voters have already approved $128 billion in general fund Bonds that must be repaid by taxpayers. The Bond would add over $7 billion in taxpayer indebtedness that must be repaid with interest, which can easily double the original amount. Subsidies for special interests are inherently fiscally irresponsible.

12. Is a hogfest of projects unrelated to water supply or drought relief.

Bond proponents carefully disguised pork projects by not identifying specific projects in general funding allocations to various groups. Associated Press, in a widely published article, reported that Conservancies and other groups have acknowledged they will use Bond funds for pedestrian and bike trails, parkways, interpretive centers, trash cleanups and other projects with no direct connection to the stated intent of the water Bond...

13. Shamefully holds a few worthy projects hostage to fiscally irresponsible and environmentally damaging projects.

The fact that the Bond contains a few worthy projects fails to justify sacrificing core environmental principles and fiscal responsibility. Approximately, 6.9% of the Bond will provide safe drinking water and clean water programs to disadvantaged communities. This commitment is long overdue and should have been presented as a standalone proposition. It’s shameful to use the long-ignored plight of those lacking safe drinking water in disadvantaged communities as justification for eviscerating environmental protection and providing extravagant subsidies to special interests....

—California Sportfishing Protection Alliance[24]

A video against the proposition, titled "Vote NO on Prop 1."

Marco Gonzalez, Executive Director of the Coastal Environment Rights Foundation, said the proposition would be a “burden on taxpayers and is a bad investment…”:

Proposition 1 will be a burden on taxpayers and is a bad investment for San Diegans and all Californians alike. It will not mitigate the effects of drought, and does nothing to support long-term water self-sufficiency. Proposition 1 does not deserve your vote…

Simply put, Proposition 1 would subsidize more of the same poor water planning that caused our current, precarious water supply paradigm. Touted as a compromise when compared to the first water bond proposal, this is not reason enough to warrant support. In scope, overall expense and approach, the majority of the projects to be funded remain unsupportable.

From a San Diegan’s perspective, Proposition 1 ignores the fact that we are at the end of the water pipeline, and among the most precarious regions susceptible to impacts of long term drought…

Instead of providing substantial funds to help communities save water by replacing aged and leaking water infrastructure, the water bond focuses billions of dollars on Northern California dam building to subsidize corporate agribusiness growing the wrong types of crops, with outdated technology, in the wrong places for decades…

From a statewide perspective, Proposition 1 is classic “pork” — a waste of taxpayer funds for pet projects, many of which could have devastating environmental impacts. The corporate farm owners who will be the primary beneficiaries of the water bond will have no incentive to change their water-intensive crops, increase efficiencies, reduce runoff, or upgrade to modern and cutting-edge technologies. At the same time, we can expect the big oil companies to line up for water that would come from these projects to support their high intensity polluting activities in the Central Valley, such as hydraulic fracturing (aka “fracking”). And as taxpayers, we’ll foot the $15 billion debt (more than $360 million per year for 40 years) with very little water to show for it in the end.


—Marco Gonzalez[25]

Other arguments against the proposition included:

  • Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, field director of Vote NO on Proposition 1, argued, "Proposition 1 is a corporate money grab aimed at bankrolling special interests with taxpayer dollars while providing tragically inadequate funding for projects that provide safe, clean water for the people of California. Proposition 1 is the wrong investment for California."[26]


One ballot measure campaign committee registered in opposition to the initiative as of December 31, 2014:[20]

Committee Amount raised Amount spent
Californians Against More Debt, Misplaced Spending - No On Prop. 1 $101,149 $86,347
Total $101,149 $86,347

The following are the donors who contributed $2,500 or more to the campaign in opposition to the initiative as of December 31, 2014:[20]

Donor Amount
Dante Nomellini $12,500
Jack Klein Partnership $7,500
Cerri Farms, Inc. $5,000
Conrad Silva Farms $5,000
Del Carlo Farms, Inc. $5,000
Thomas Zuckerman $5,000
Ferguson Farms, Inc. $2,500
George Perry & Sons, Inc. $2,500
Giovannoni Farms $2,500
Lory & Victoria Mussi $2,500
R&M Ranch $2,500
Rudy and Toni Mussi $2,500
San Joaquin Delta Farms, Inc. $2,500
V and A Lagorio $2,500

Media editorial positions

See also: Endorsements of California ballot measures, 2014


  • Marin Independent Journal: "The measure is a compromise from more ambitious plans, in cost and scope. It won't solve our current problem, but it is a prudent plan to better prepare the state for weathering future droughts."[27]
  • Modesto Bee: "The legislators have done their part, delivering a bond proposal that will truly help solve the problems and a commitment from the governor that the state won’t take substantially more water from our rivers than they have in the past. Now, we’ve got a bond proposal we can all support."[28]
  • Napa Valley Register: "The measure is less than perfect, and it will do little to alleviate our current drought, but it is clear that California needs better water storage and transmission facilities if human life is to be sustained here."[29]
  • Palm Springs Desert Sun: "With the drought and the potential effects of climate change, we expect voters will approve Proposition 1. The Desert Sun believes they should."[30]
  • The San Diego Union-Tribune: "This is a populous and growing state, and a highly productive breadbasket for the country and the world. Proposition 1 will not solve California’s water problems forever more. But its rejection would threaten a pillar of California’s future."[31]
  • San Francisco Chronicle: "Nothing focuses the mind like a crisis and the state’s three-year drought now has Californians focused on our perennial problem — high demand for water and inefficient use of what we do have. Proposition 1, a $7.5 billion bond on the Nov. 4 ballot will take a first step toward more realistic state water policy. It deserves your vote."[32]


See also: Polls, 2014 ballot measures


California Proposition 1 (2014)
Poll Support OpposeUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Public Policy Institute of California
3/11/2014 - 3/18/2014
Public Policy Institute of California
7/8/2014 - 7/15/2014
The Field Poll
8/14/2014 - 8/28/2014
Lake Research Partners
8/26/2014 - 8/29/2014
Public Policy Institute of California
9/8/2014 - 9/15/2014
Hoover Institute Golden State Poll
10/3/2014 - 10/17/2014
Public Policy Institute of California
10/12/2014 - 10/19/2014
The Field Poll
10/15/2014 - 10/28/2014
USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll
10/22/2014 - 10/29/2014
AVERAGES 54.11% 25.89% 20% +/-3.68 1,358.44
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to


California Proposition 1 (2014)
Poll Support OpposeUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Tulchin Research
1/20/2010 - 1/25/2010
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

Path to the ballot

See also: Authorizing bonds in California

As mandated by Section 1 of Article XVI of the California Constitution, the California Legislature was required to pass the bond act by a two-thirds vote of all the members in both legislative chambers.


On October 27, 2009, Sen. Dave Cogdill (R-14) introduced Senate Bill 2, also known as the Safe, Clean, and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act of 2010. On November 4, 2009, both chambers of the legislature approved the bond measure. The votes were as follows:[33]

November 4, 2009 House vote

California SB 2 House Vote
Approveda Yes 55 73.33%

November 4, 2009 Senate vote

California SB 2 Senate Vote
Approveda Yes 27 77.14%

Senate Bill 2 was slated to appear on the 2010 ballot as Proposition 18.[34]


On August 9, 2010, the legislature voted to postpone the measure from the November 2010 ballot to the November 2012 ballot. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) recommended the postponement. Schwarzenegger said he did not think Proposition 18 could win in 2010. He noted, "It's critical that the water bond pass... I will work with the Legislature to postpone the bond to 2012 and avoid jeopardizing its passage."[35] Both chambers of the legislature voted to move the bond measure from 2010 to 2012 via Assembly Bill 1265 on August 9, 2010. A two-thirds majority was needed to move the measure. The votes were as follows:[36]

August 9, 2010 House vote

California AB 1265 House Vote
Approveda Yes 54 71.05%

August 9, 2010 Senate vote

California AB 1265 Senate Vote
Approveda Yes 27 79.41%


On January 19, 2012, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) expressed that he would like to see the water bond measure delayed. He said, "I think they've [voters] got to take a hard look at that one." He also expressed the view that the state's lawmakers need to think about whether the bond proposal "really fits with what is absolutely needed" for water purposes in the state.[37]

US Rep. Jared Huffman (D-2), who was a state assemblyman in 2012 and chair of the Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee, said, "As written, this bond cannot pass in 2012 or any other year so my hope is – and the reality suggests – that we shouldn’t be seriously considering strategies to pass this particular bond, whether it is 2012, 2014 or 2020. To be viable, the revised bond will have to be leaner and greener."[8]

Sen. Lois Wolk (D-3) said both a tax increase and a large bond should not be on the ballot in 2012. She said, "It is critically important that we focus on the revenue measure," referring to Proposition 30. Wolk continued, "We are faced with a tax levy in November. It would be disastrous to have [the borrowing] on the ballot."[38][39]

In March 2012, Darrell Steinberg (D-6), the President Pro Tem of the California State Senate, told reporters that the water bond would probably be pulled off the ballot.[40]

Assembly Bill 1422, sponsored by Rep. Henry Perea (D-31), was introduced into the legislature. AB 1422 moved the water bond from the 2012 ballot to the 2014 ballot. On July 5, 2012, legislators approved the bill. The votes were as follows:[41]

July 5, 2012 House vote

California AB 1422 House Vote
Approveda Yes 72 91.14%

July 5, 2012 Senate vote

California AB 1422 Senate Vote
Approveda Yes 34 94.44%

Gov. Brown signed the bill on July 9, 2012.[41]

On June 25, 2014, Brown called on the legislature to replace the previous $11.14 billion bond with a cheaper $6 billion bond.[42] He called the previous water bond "a pork-laden water bond… with a price tag beyond what’s reasonable or affordable."[43] The legislature passed a new $7.12 billion bond on August 13, 2014.

Legislators were able to develop a bipartisan deal after weeks of deliberation. Republicans wanted more funding for reservoirs and water storage. Gov. Brown met with legislative leaders from both parties to help forge a compromise. Rep. Toni Atkins (D-78) said, "The pitch now is you've got a unified front. You got Northern, Central, South. You got Republicans, you got Democrats. You've got the Senate leadership, the Assembly leadership — both, you know, Republican and Democrat — and you got the governor."[44] The new bond measure was Assembly Bill 1471, also known as the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014. The votes were as follows:[2]

August 13, 2014 House vote

California AB 1471 House Vote
Approveda Yes 77 97.47%

August 13, 2014 Senate vote

California AB 1471 Senate Vote
Approveda Yes 37 100.00%

Related measures

See also

Additional reading

External links

Suggest a link

Basic information




  1. KQED, "New Ballot Numbers For November’s Water, Budget Propositions," August 12, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 California Legislature, "AB-1471 Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014," accessed August 14, 2014
  3. Los Angeles Times, "Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal intensifies water bond negotiations," June 25, 2014
  4. KQED, "Brown Wades Into Water Bond Debate," August 6, 2014
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Official Supplemental Voter Information Guide for November 4, 2014 Election, "Ballot Title and Summary," accessed September 9, 2014
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  7. Mercury News, "Californians asked to spend more during unprecedented spree of water spending," November 23, 2009
  8. 8.0 8.1 Capitol Weekly, "For water, perilous economy is big player in November 2012," December 15, 2011
  9. Yes on Props 1 & 2, "Homepage," accessed October 8, 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Official Supplemental Voter Information Guide for November 4, 2014 Election, "Argument in Favor," accessed September 9, 2014
  11. Marin Independent Journal, "Marin Voice: Prop. 1 prioritizes conservation and climate change," September 24, 2014
  12. California Democratic Party, "2014 Endorsement Information," accessed September 23, 2014
  13. Santa Monica Mirror, "State Republicans Vote To Back Two Measures On November Ballot, Oppose Two," September 22, 2014
  14. The Republic, "Environmentalists split over California proposal to borrow billions for water projects," October 2, 2014
  15. Sierra Sun Times, "League of California Cities and California State Association of Counties Support Proposition 1, the Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Act of 2014," September 7, 2014
  16. The Porterville Recorder, "CCM to contribute to water bond campaign," October 1, 2013
  17. Signal Tribune, "Long Beach Water commissioners back Proposition 1 water bond," September 26, 2014
  18. San Francisco Weekly, "Sean Parker Is Now a Top California Political Power Player In November Election," October 9, 2014
  19. Natural Resources Defense Council, "Why NRDC Supports California's Prop 1 (Water Bond) on the November Ballot," October 14, 2014
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 California Secretary of State, "Proposition 1 Campaign Finance," accessed October 6, 2014
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