FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 12, 2015
Media Contacts: Hector Barajas – (323) 314-3342, firstname.lastname@example.org
Runner and Huff File Water Priorities Constitutional Amendment & New Surface Water and Groundwater Storage Facilities Bond Act
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Nov. 12, 2015) – Vice Chair, Board of Equalization, George Runner and California State Senator Bob Huff (R-San Dimas) today announced they have submitted for title and summary a 2016 ballot initiative that redirects unspent High Speed Rail Proposition 1A (2008) and Proposition 1 (2014) water bond money to build new surface water and groundwater storage projects without adding more debt or levying new taxes. It also establishes priorities for the state’s use of water as a constitutional amendment.
The measure adds a new section to Article X of the California Constitution making drinking water and irrigation the primary beneficial water use priorities for the people of the state ahead of all other needs, according to the proponents.
“This initiative does not raise taxes, it does not ask for additional revenue or add any more debt,” said George Runner. “It reallocates unused money from past bonds to make better use of the money in our dire drought for the purpose of providing groundwater recharge and treatment facilities and infrastructure to store new water for California families, businesses and food production.”
“California’s economy and our ability to survive depends on a reliable water supply,” said Bob Huff. “This initiative secures our water future by building long-overdue expansions of existing facilities and new projects to store, deliver and recycle water for our families, farms and businesses. ”
Runner and Huff join a chorus of elected California Democrats, Republicans and many of the state’s citizens who believe High Speed Rail is off track and would rather use its bond money for more critical projects.
Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom and Assemblywoman Patty Lopez (D-San Fernando) have been vocal opponents to the current project, and in 2014, California Democrats, Rep. Ami Bera (D-Elk Grove), Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Palm Desert), Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village) and Scott Peters (D-San Diego), voted to block California’s high-speed rail project from receiving federal funds. On the federal level, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy recently called for using rail bond money for facilities that would help the state in its next drought.
The Water Priorities Constitutional Amendment and New Surface Water and Groundwater Storage Facilities Bond Act was submitted to the Attorney General for the Secretary of State to review and issue an official title and summary.