Propositioned - Prop 3: A River of Cash Runs Through Proposition 3

Propositioned Podcast examines Prop 3

Welcome back to Propositioned! Hosted by KFI's Kris Ankarlo, this limited series podcast is back to take a look at the 11 different propositions you'll see at the ballot box this November 6! 

Now in its third season, Propositioned is a chance for both sides on each question to make their case to you, the voter. Then you can take that information with you to the voter booth. 

On today's episode of Propositioned, Kris Ankarlo investigates both sides of Proposition 3, a ballot measure that Proposition 3 would authorized nearly $9 billion in bonds to pay for various water infrastructure projects across the state. 

If passed, proponents say the state would be able to fund various water and environmental projects that would increase the reliability and capacity of drinkable water during droughts, as well as improve the water quality in our ocean, bays, and rivers.

However, opponents say the bond measure is just a giveaway to lots of various organizations, and won't produce one drop of new, usable water. 

KFI's Kris Ankarlo examines both sides of the issue in this episode of Propositioned, listen below: 

Water, Water, Everywhere, but not a drop to drink. 

Forget it Jake, it's Chinatown. 

For as long as California has been populated, the problem of how to ship enough water to meet the state's needs for agriculture, drinking and more has been something that politicians, farmers and residents have battled over.

Now, a new proposition brings the age-old fight back to the forefront of voters' minds with Proposition 3, a nearly $9 billion bond measure that's supposed to fund a lengthy list of projects to help keep drinking water safe and reliable across the state. 

Supporters of Prop 3 says the cost of the bond will be partially offset by savings to local governments as those water projects are built and come online. Jerry Meral, who wrote the measure, is the Director for the California Water Program and he says money has been put aside to bring safe drinking water to disadvantaged communities. 

"It's really amazing that in the fifth largest economy in the world, we have a million people with unsafe drinking water supplies. That really needs to come to an end and we've got to provide them with safe drinking water," Meral said. 

However, opponents to Prop 3 say the ballot measure is simply a pay-to-play scheme that will only benefit the people who helped get the measure on the ballot. Charming Evelyn, chairperson for the Water Committee on the Sierra Club, Angeles Chapter questions how this measure made it on the ballot. 

"It's what we call a 'pay-to-play' bond," meaning, the people who paid to have it put on the ballot, are the ones that are going to reap the most benefits," Evelyn said. 

She also points out that the measure flouts a California water law that says people using the water should be the ones paying for the projects bringing the water. 

But Meral disagrees, he says donors are sponsoring this ballot measure because they see California has a dire need for improved water infrastructure. 

"They see the need for a better water supply in California. They're not going to get money directly out of it, no donor will receive any money from this. But they do see the need for long-term for water development in California and conservations," Meral says. 

Here's the official language on the ballot for Proposition 3: 

Authorizes $8.877 billion in state general obligation bonds for various infrastructure projects. Fiscal Impact: Increased state costs to repay bonds averaging $430 million per year over 40 years. Local government savings for water-related projects, likely averaging a couple hundred million dollars annually over the next few decades.

Here's what a 'YES' vote means: 

A YES vote on this measure means: The state could sell $8.9 billion in general obligation bonds to fund various water and environmental projects.

Here's what a 'NO' vote means: 

A NO vote on this measure means: The state could not sell $8.9 billion in general obligation bonds to fund various water and environmental projects.

Here are the groups who support Prop 3

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D), U.S. Rep. Jim Costa (D-16), U.S. Rep. John Garamendi (D-3), Sen. Toni Atkins (D-39), Rep. Tony Thurmond (D-15) - 2018 superintendent candidate, John Cox (R) - 2018 gubernatorial candidate, Fiona Ma (D) - 2018 treasurer candidate, California Labor Federation, Professional Engineers in California Government, Ducks Unlimited, California Waterfowl Association, American Pistachio Growers, California Fresh Fruit Association, and MANY more are listed on the YES ON 3 website.

Here are the groups opposed to Prop 3

Rep. Anthony Rendon (D-63), Sierra Club California, Friends of the River, League of Women Voters of California, Save The American River Association, Southern California Watershed Alliance

Photo: Getty Images

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