Sacramento, CA – The State Assembly has voted unanimously to pass a package of Emergency Drought Relief bills.
As previously reported, the bills total $1 billion in funding to expedite infrastructure spending while offering aid to communities hit hardest by dry conditions. Speaker of the Assembly Toni Atkins says the severity of the drought requires that action start now. She adds, “Part of what’s in this package is how to speed up water transfers. That’s going to directly deal with the drought today. It is about emergency needs, now…but it is long term and we need to stay focused on this. This may become the new normal, and if this is the new normal, we need to consistently be addressing this issue.”
A companion bill that allows for fines for illegal diversions of water that hurt fish passed with Republicans objecting. Brown is expected to sign the bills.