"Overall, the state and federal governments each would provide $6 billion to $8 billion over the next 25 years. Another state bond would be floated. Local agencies - many of them dealing with depleted budgets and struggling residents - would pay $1 billion, a steep sum.
'It is reasonable for local agencies to pay some,' said Dante Nomellini, a Stockton attorney who represents districts that maintain local levees. 'But you've got to have the ability to pay. You can't squeeze blood from a turnip.'"