Don has a broad experience and success in water policy and water politics in California. Don was responsible for two water bonds in 2006, Propositions 84 and 1E, which both won voter approval. As California State Senate president pro tem, he led a bipartisan team of lawmakers, administration officials, providers, end-users, and environmental interests, each with complex, always contentious and often-competitive views, to approve a spending plan keyed to priority needs of regional and statewide importance.
The following year, Don again worked with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s administration involving an 18 month-long negotiation for another water bond for conveyance and above ground storage. While unsuccessful, the negotiations were an important precursor to Proposition 1, the water bond approved by voters in November of 2014.
During his years in the Senate, Don directed and negotiated four budgets with the Schwarzenegger administration and Republican minority leaders, when a 2/3 vote was required to pass the budget.