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Private Companies Threaten Public Bond Funds
In an unprecedented move in California politics, a select group of powerful private water companies are lobbying to get access to the $3.4 billion public bond funds. Voters approved Proposition 50 in November, 2002 with the understanding that the funds would go to cash‑strapped public agencies, not multinationals such as California‑American Water Company or the large Southern California Water Company.
Department of Health Services and Department of Water Resources are now drafting their guidelines for Prop 50 funding and are considering the eligibility of private companies. It is imperative that California taxpayers write to these departments to let them know that they did not vote for subsidizing private companies in 2002!
Allowing private companies to access bond funds misleads the voters, misappropriates vital public money in a time of state fiscal crisis, and threatens the ability of small, disadvantaged communities serviced by public agencies and not-for-profit mutual water companies to compete for bond funds.
State Treasurer Phil Angelides, the Association of California Water Agencies and a coalition of 10 social and environmental justice, consumer advocacy and environmental conservation groups have all come out in opposition to allowing private water companies access to public funds.
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