SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – This November, California voters may be asked to decide between the high speed rail project and new water storage.
The California Water Alliance is among the supporters of a proposal that would take $8 billion in high speed rail bonds and redirect that money to projects like raising Shasta Dam and expanding reservoirs.READ MORE: COVID Reopening: Napa County Indoor Dining Can Resume With Red Tier Move; Wineries Continue Outdoor-Only
San Jose State professor emeritus and KCBS political analyst Larry Gerston says the initiative would also rewrite state water laws.READ MORE: Bay Area Favorite Specialty's Cafe and Bakery Reopens In Mountain View
“This isn’t just a matter of you transferring the money that we would spend on high speed rail to water. It’s a matter of making water needs for farmers and urban users permanent, leaving environmental needs out the window,” Gerston said.
Gerston said the proposal could lead to quite a political battle.
“That’s where there’s going to be a big pushback,” he said. “And environmentalists in California historically have been very strong. Environmentalists have had their way on a number of issues over the years.”MORE NEWS: Stimulus Check Update: When Could Another Economic Relief Payment Arrive?
Supporters of the initiative say they have $2 million set aside to gather signatures to qualify it for the ballot.