It’s done. A multi-billion dollar water bond, the result of several weeks of compromising, posturing, and in the end, bipartisan cooperation the likes of which we haven’t seen in Sacramento in quite some time.
Legislators should be proud of what they’ve accomplished — and how they did it. The back-and-forth — right up until the final hours before a deadline to appear on the November ballot –made it a package that might well win the approval of voters.
This is how the legislative process works: the sausage-making, the press conferences, the shuttling between the Governor’s office and legislative offices, making concessions to get things done. Sometimes it’s not pretty. But it works.
To that end, this water bond is EXACTLY why the legislation requiring bills to be in print for 72 hours before a vote that has been put forward by California Forward and embraced by soon-to-be GOP Assembly Leader Kristen Olsen should be put in the bad ideas garbage can once and for all.
Had it been in place, the water bond would have never happened. Period.
The irony here is that Olsen actually co-authored the water bond. It was in print for a few hours before being voted on, nothing close to three days. (Senator Lois Wolk, who also supports the 3-day in print legislation, also was a water bond co-author.)
Not surprisingly, neither of them raised this point in the debate about the bond at any time. Nor did any of the editorial boards who have pounded away in support of the 72 hour rule.
And if there was ever a time that its backers might have insisted on having 72 hours, this would be it. The water bond will lock the state into decades of unchangeable debt payments — just the kind of thing that might deserve more scrutiny that ordinary laws that can be undone or repaired at any given point.
Let’s hope that Assemblywoman Olsen, who is gaining more experience in the Legislature, is beginning to understand how things really work, and why she should shelve her proposal for once and for all.