Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
Published: Monday, Aug. 11, 2014 – 12:00 am
Last Modified: Monday, Aug. 11, 2014 – 6:34 am

With just three weeks remaining in this year’s legislative session and the official deadline for placing issues on the Nov. 4 ballot long since passed, one might think that the Capitol’s politicians would be working night and day to write a new water bond.

But if they are, it sure isn’t noticeable, even though the state is wracked by drought and the public expects politicians to respond with more than sympathy.

Before the last month of the session began, the word around the Capitol was that something had to be done by Aug. 11 – today – on a water bond, even if it was simply to remove a 2009-vintage bond issue measure that already has been postponed twice.

Chances are high that nothing will happen today. There’s not even agreement on whether another postponement bill can be passed on a simple-majority vote, as Democrats claim, or whether at least a few Republican votes would be needed.

Gov. Jerry Brown, who’s been clearly reluctant to have any water bond on the ballot this year as he seeks re-election, finally offered up some details on the $6 billion version he says he’s willing to accept.

Brown denounced the $11.1 billion current version as “pork-laden,” but his minimalist approach doesn’t appear to be winning any converts in the Legislature, which may be by design. If nothing happens, he can say he tried.

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