They can’t live with it, and they can’t live without it. So California’s legislators today agreed do what people so often do in such circumstances — they put off dealing with a bill to repair California’s water delivery system.

Both houses of the Legislature voted to delay the bill, which would have put on the November ballot $11 billion in bonds for water storage, Bay-Delta sustainability, groundwater clean-up, and advanced water treatment and recycling. It was the second time the bill was delayed.


View KQED: California’s Water Bond – Where Would the Money Go? in a larger map

It’s now scheduled to go before voters in 2014, by which time legislators hope an ugly duckling will have somehow become a swan that voters can endorse.

The bill had grown larger and larger as legislators tacked on pet projects, to the point that they became uneasy with with their own invention. “Now we have a water bond that’s going to be very difficult to get public support (for),” said Kevin Jeffries, R-Murrieta. “We have to postpone this to get it right.”

Opponents said delaying wouldn’t make a bad bill better. “This is a bond that cannot pass,” said Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael. “The problem is that kicking it down the road is not a solution.”

The bill passed by 69 to 6 in the Assembly, and 34-2 in the Senate.

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