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Californians Have Passed Nine Water Bonds In A Row, So Why Not Proposition 3?

State Department of Water Resources
Friant Dam, a part of the Central Valley Project, on the San Joaquin River

This year’s ballot included a lot of bonds, but one of the most expensive ones had to do with water. Proposition 3 would have authorized nearly $9 billion for water projects. Early ballot counts showed it passing in Fresno County, but failing across the rest of the state.  Sacramento Bee reporters Bryan Anderson and Ryan Sabalow, along with Fresno Bee reporter Lewis Griswold reported on some of the possible reasons the bond didn't succeed.

Listen to the interview above to hear Sacramento Bee politics reporter Bryan Anderson discuss how the failure of Proposition 3 was a surprise, even to it’s main sponsor, and how it differs from water bonds Californians have passed over the last three decades.


Laura Tsutsui was a reporter and producer for Valley Public Radio. She joined the station in 2017 as a news intern, and later worked as a production assistant and weekend host. Laura covered local issues ranging from politics to housing, and produced the weekly news program Valley Edition. She left the station in November 2020.
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