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What You Should Know / June 19, 2010 -- Lawmakers backing November's $11 billion water bond proposition are seeking to strike a provision that would allow private corporations to own, operate and profit from dams and other water storage projects built with taxpayer dollars, a little-noticed clause that was the subject of a Chronicle report. The change, introduced in the Legislature on Thursday, would remove the controversial portion of the bond measure that could open the door for private companies to control newly built dams and profit by selling the water back to Californians. The state historically has retained control of publicly financed dams. Lawmakers who voted for a historic package of water bills last fall, which included the bond measure, told The Chronicle in December that they had not noticed the provision in the 26-page bill. Since then, some legislators have been reassessing their support of the proposition, and the provision has been used by opponents in campaign materials to try to defeat the spending measure.

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