14 Jan Hoover Institute Poll: California Voters Would Redirect High Speed Rail Funds to Water Storage Projects

The Hoover Institution/Golden State Poll announced today that fifty-three percent of Californians would vote for a ballot measure ending high-speed rail and using its unspent money on water-storage projects if the election was held now, while only 31% would vote against the measure.

California voters know that the drought has changed our state’s priorities and needs,” said George Runner, proponent and Vice-Chair, California State Board of Equalization. “When given the choice, they choose water storage over high speed rail.”

The Golden State Poll also found that only 39% of most likely voters still approve of Gov. Jerry Brown’s support for the High-Speed Rail project, while 41% do not and the remainder is undecided, and 62% ranked water storage construction as their top priority for state governmental spending, over six times higher than the next most popular priority, highway expansion.

Water remains our state’s most important issue and our ballot measure provides a clear path for funding surface and groundwater storage and recycling projects,” said Senator Bob Huff (R-San Dimas). It does so without a penny of new taxes or borrowing by the state. Voters are demanding that state government does what every family does when faced with a challenge – change its priorities.”

In the face of prolonged drought, government gridlock and politics as usual, California voters realize that this initiative gives them a chance to reprioritize the needs of California,” said Aubrey Bettencourt, the executive director of the California Water Alliance, the measure’s sponsor. While trains are nice, water is a necessity for survival, food and our economy.”

The poll also found that a measure directing High-Speed Rail Project funds to water storage would be more likely to pass than a measure directing its funds to other infrastructure projects. While 53% would support the water storage shift, only 49% would back a more broadly worded infrastructure measure.

As a measurement of how unpopular continuing the state’s High-Speed Rail Project has become, it scored last in a list of 21 issues Gov. Brown mentioned in his last State of the State speech, with 17% support, while Dealing with the state’s water problems” topped the list in first place, as the first preference of 77% of California’s most likely voters.

The Hoover Institution/Golden State Poll, administered by the survey research firm YouGov and designed in conjunction with Stanford’s Bill Lane Center for the American West, sampled 1,800 Californians (age eighteen and above) statewide from November 30 to December 13. Among the poll’s questions, voters were asked to prioritize twenty-one policy concerns facing the state. The full poll results for the survey, which has a margin of error of +/- 3.31 percent for the full weighted sample, can be found here:http://www.hoover.org/sites/default/files/hoover_gsp_january_2016_release_public_results_final_011216.pdf

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About the California Water Alliance

The California Water Alliance is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the nature of water and promoting long-term, sustainable solutions that meet the health and security needs of families, cities, businesses, farmers and the environment. To learn more, visit www.CaliforniaWaterAlliance.org.

About the California Water Alliance Initiative Fund Committee

The California Water Alliance Initiative Fund Committee (FPPC ID#1381113), sponsored by the California Water Alliance, a non-profit IRC ยง501(c)(4) organization, is a state primarily formed ballot measure recipient committee organized to qualify two or more state ballot measures for the November 2016 ballot. It is permitted to accept unlimited, non-tax-deductible donations from individuals, corporations, partnerships, nonprofit organizations, and any other lawfully permissible sources. For more information and restrictions, please visit http://cawater4all.com/