A4 Thursday. September 12, 1996 *
The Sacramento Bee
Water bond measure
backed by Gingrich
By Michael Doyle
Bee Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON House Speak-
er Newt Gingrich on Wednesday
endorsed California's big water
bond initiative on the November
ballot and said Congress would do
its part to help.
Gingrich said Congress will au-
thorize spending up to $143 mil-
lion annually for the next three
years to help out Proposition 204,
the $995 million bond proposal
that includes projects up and
down the Central Valley.
"This is good news, because it
shows the federal commitment,"
Secretary of State Bill Jones said
after a Washington news confer-
ence. "We're soliciting all the sup-
port we can get."
Flanked by Rep. George Rada-
novich, R-Mariposa, and other
champions of the water bond, Gin-
grich pledged that a catch-all fed-
eral spending bill expected later
this month will include an author-'
ization of the federal spending.
Behind-the-scenes lobbying' to
gain key support has been going
on for weeks, including during a
visit Tuesday between Gingrich
and Gov. Pete Wilson.
The dollars actually provided,
however, still could fall short of
the authorized amount.
Today in Fresno, President
Clinton might get his chance to
jump on board. Republican presi-
dential candidate Bob Dole al-
ready has endorsed Proposition
204, and state Sen. Jim Costa, D-
Hanford, has been lobbying the
administration to win Clinton's
support. Proposition supporters
said it was possible Clinton's en-
dorsement could come today.