Most Bay Area lawmakers opposed the statewide water deal because the accompanying $11.1 billion bond package will siphon funds from education, parks, and healthcare, according to the Chron. In addition, numerous environmental groups are against the package, which was approved early yesterday by both houses of the Legislature, because it paves the way for a controversial peripheral canal. Environmentalists contend that the canal, which could cost another $50 billion, would decimate the collapsing Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
However, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger strongly supports the water package and is expected to sign it into law. The package also enjoyed the support of Democratic legislative leaders in Sacramento. But the $11.1 billion bond, which includes money for new dams, must be approved by California voters next November. The bond will cost the state's cash-strappped general fund at least $600 million a year.