3: An $8.9 Billion Water Bond

What it would do:

Give the state permission to borrow $8.9 billion to fund watershed protection ($2.5 billion), water supply improvements including wastewater treatment ($2.1 billion), habitat restoration ($1.4 billion), groundwater management ($1.1 billion), flood protection projects ($500 million), as well as upgrades and repairs to traditional water infrastructure, like canals and dams ($1.2 billion).

What it would cost the government:

According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, the state’s nonpartisan budgetary scorekeeper, paying back the bond with interest will run the state government an extra $435 million annually for the next 40 years on average. This is roughly equivalent to about one-third of 1 percent of the state’s current general fund—or a little less than what the state spent on its Department of Fish and Wildlife this year. The total cost of the bond is expected to be $17.3 billion.

Why it is on the ballot:

No, this isn’t déjà vu. On June 5th, California voters passed a $4.1 billion bond to fund water infrastructure improvements, as well as new parks. That proposition was placed on the ballot by state lawmakers in part to discourage outside groups from asking voters for even more money in November. And yet here we are. Unlike the June proposition, this bond is much bigger and its funds will be entirely dedicated to water projects.

Story Credit and Breakdown of Propositions: CalMatters.Org