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Steinberg: Delta Tunnel Project Needs Legislative Buy-In

Andrew Nixon
Capital Public Radio

California legislative leaders are pushing back against the contention of Governor Jerry Brown’s administration that its Delta tunnels proposal doesn’t need lawmaker approval.

“I don’t know whether he needs it legally, but I think he needs it politically and other ways,” says Steinberg.

That’s Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg.  He told reporters Wednesday that without a “breakthrough” on the tunnel project, a new water bond measure would likely not pass the legislature.  There’s general agreement that the current 11 billion dollar bond set for the November 2014 ballot is too large to win voter approval.

Steinberg says setting caps on how much water would flow through the tunnels each year to Central and Southern California could pave the way for a deal.

The Sacramento Democrat also says that while he sympathizes with the concerns of Delta residents who fear the tunnels would shatter their quality of life, the project is necessary to meet the water needs of the entire state.

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