Jerry Brown says November water bond vote might need to be delayed


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Gov. Jerry Brown said on Thursday he wants the Legislature to authorize billions more in bond sales to fund the state’s bullet train, but suggested lawmakers consider moving a $12-billion water bond off the November ballot.

“I think they’ve got to take a hard look at that one,” Brown said of the water measure, which is schedule to go before voters this fall. The governor clarified that the ambitious water project he outlined in his State of the State address Wednesday was not the same as the bond already on the ballot.


Brown said “we do not need tax money” to pay for his plan. “The big water users will pay for having water reliability.” He said lawmakers should reconsider the bond measure and decide if it “really fits with what is absolutely needed” to improve the state’s water system.

The governor wants to put his own measure before voters this fall to increase taxes on sales and upper incomes to pay for other state programs. He has been open about his desire to keep other tax measures off the November ballot to make for “a clean campaign.”

He reiterated those concerns in Orange County on Thursday, speaking to reporters after meeting with local business leaders to try to drum up support for his tax proposal.

-- Anthony York in Sacramento