Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday Must Reads: Lawmakers Can’t Agree on Water Bond; State Considers First-Ever Groundwater Rules

By Robert Gammon
Mon, Aug 11, 2014 at 9:56 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Governor Jerry Brown and state legislators have been unable to strike a deal on a proposed water bond for the November ballot, and the deadline for reaching a compromise is tonight, the Chron reports. Currently, the water bond calls for $11 billion in water infrastructure upgrades, but opinion polls show that such a bond has no hope of passing. Brown wants to lower the bond to $6 billion. On Friday, Republicans, who want to spend $3 billion on new reservoirs, proposed an $8.7 billion measure.

Jerry Brown
  • Jerry Brown
2. The governor and the legislature are also considering a new law that would create the first-ever rules for groundwater use in the state, the Mercury News$ reports. Currently, agriculture and cities are allowed to pump as much water from the ground as they want, with virtually no oversight. But overpumping has left some aquifers dry.

3. The extreme lack of housing, which is causing housing prices to soar, is becoming a drag on the economy, the LA Times$ reports, citing a new economic analysis. High housing costs are driving low- and middle-income workers out of the state.

4. A federal grand jury has indicted the bowhunter who sparked last year’s massive blaze, known as the Rim Fire, near Yosemite National Park, the Chron reports. Keith Matthew Emerald, a 32-year-old resident of Columbia in Tuolumne County, is facing felony charges.

5. And Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, who has been accused of improperly using her cellphone while she’s driving, has decided to use a driver to take her to appointments around the city, the Trib$ reports. Her predecessors, mayors Jerry Brown and Ron Dellums, both used drivers.

$ = news stories that may require payment to read.


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