Levee bond: Where the money goes
|AP writers Aaron Davis and Samantha Young have a story about where the money in the levee bond would go. And it doesn't sound so good.|
an Associated Press review of the bond has found the measure requires voters to take a leap of faith that the state will spend the money the way lawmakers have promised.
An extensive examination of the measure, reviews of state and federal studies, and interviews with two dozen water experts, lawmakers and environmentalists have revealed the bond lacks core details about how, when and where the money should be spent.
Lawmakers rushing to assemble the bond as part of a wider package of public works improvements on the November ballot largely avoided those tough questions, leaving the details to future lawmakers.
Without those components, the bond measure fails to answer how soon the hundreds of thousands of Central Valley residents and the critical freshwater supply guarded by 2,300 miles of levees might be protected.
In what some experts say is the bond's most open-ended question, it provides little more than a sketch for how the state would rank and allocate billions of dollars for levee projects. At best, experts say, the process would be based on scientific studies but still run the risk of becoming politicized. At worst, it could allow deep-pocketed developers to sway decisions and build even more homes in flood-prone areas.