On May 13, 2017, Governor Brown outlined his revised budget proposal focusing the state’s financial resources on his High Speed Rail legacy project and renewing its efforts to fight the Trump Administration on multiple fronts. While he may have dropped the mic with an antagonistic $183 billion budget, points on the scorecard went to the Trump Administration that day.
As Governor Brown unveiled his budget, Interior Secretary Zinke authorized grants awarding California $21 million for the state’s “planning, designing and constructing water recycling and reuse projects; developing feasibility studies; and researching desalination and water recycling projects.”
As Oroville Dam sits officially declared a state failure, an ongoing emergency and an eminent peril to tens of thousands of Californians currently facing flood warnings and still recovering from a devastating statewide six year drought, the state sits on $17.6 billion in unspent “water bond” funding out of $27.1 billion in bond measures passed since 2000. Not a single cent of the governor’s budget provides funds for critically needed water supply or delivery projects.
It is a failure for Brown of both his vision and for setting rational priorities in the face of very strong public sentiment that water infrastructure should be addressed, across all demographic and party lines. Recent major national polls reveal 87% of all voters believe there should be greater spending on water infrastructure. The total includes 93% of Democrats that desire a more reliable water supply system with greater capacity than California currently provides.
The governor continues his fiery “resist” rhetoric while increasing taxes on the middle-class and working class residents to fund his feud with President Trump and his $68-billion High-Speed Rail legacy project, but the Trump administration is delivering real funding to help solve California’s water problems.
In the battle to address Californians’ real-world water needs, Trump is clearly providing what Californians of every stripe want and need, whether you like it or not.