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Nuñez, Perata differ on vote on water bond

first_imgThe governor has proposed a $9 billion bond that would earmark more than half of the money for dams that are opposed by most of the Democrats who dominate the Legislature. Both the governor and Perata, D-Oakland, have said a bond should be on the Feb. 5 ballot, although they disagree on whether the state should set aside money specifically for dams. “If we don’t do something quickly, the water in Southern California is going to be cut dramatically,” Perata said Wednesday, referring to the court’s ruling that state water deliveries be cut by about a third to protect the delta smelt. “The reason you have a special session is for urgency,” Perata added. Lawmakers have a Sept. 27 statutory deadline to put a measure on the ballot, although they can give themselves more time. Secretary of State Debra Bowen is working to determine how much more time lawmakers might have, analyzing how long election officials would need to print the ballots and voter guides before the election, said spokeswoman Nicole Winger. Perata said Wednesday that he expects the deadline could be extended to mid-October. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO – The Legislature’s two top Democrats disagreed Wednesday about whether they need to rush a water bond to the February presidential primary ballot, underscoring just how complicated it could be to reach a compromise on the issue. “I’m certainly not driven by a Feb. 5 election,” Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez told The Associated Press. “I’d much rather we get it right than we do it quickly.” But Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata insisted that the bond needs to be on the Feb. 5 ballot because of a court-imposed cutback on water deliveries out of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta scheduled to take effect at the end of the year. The federal court’s ruling, along with a record dry year and a looming drought, prompted Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last week to call a special session to negotiate a water bond with the Legislature. last_img read more