Delta blues

Governor, GOP hamstringing a worthy proposal

With his dubious displays of leadership during the state’s budget crisis, Gov. Schwarzenegger has proven a source of vexation in recent months. Well, here he goes again.

Democratic legislators have proposed an independent panel with the authority to decide how the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta should be rehabilitated and improved. The governor, with Republican legislative support, has thrown a monkey wrench into the works by refusing to go along with any bill that does not include a bond issue for building dams.

Without bonds in play, the Legislature could move ahead with a simple majority. With bonds, it would require a two-thirds majority. As we’ve seen these past two years with overdue budgets and IOUs, state officials don’t have a great track record with securing two-thirds majorities.

As George Skelton, Capitol Journal columnist for the Los Angeles Times, points out, “Dams are needed. But they’d be of little use without a healthy delta. This is a once-in-a-generation chance to heal the estuary.”

We wholeheartedly agree and encourage the North State’s representatives in Sacramento—Sen. Sam Aanestad and Assemblymen Dan Logue and Jim Nielsen—to push for a change in the Republicans’ stance. Save the dams for another debate; get something done.