State Legislators announce $680 million in new emergency drought spending

Spending would provide a coordinated reponse with Federal drought aid

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Fresh off the heels of a presidential visit to drought stricken California, Governor Brown and legislative leaders have announced a proposal to spend $680 million to alleviate the impacts of the drought.

The Governor, Senate leader Darrel Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John Perez announced today that they are not taking a wait and see attitude about the drought in California.

"This is a call to action. We must all do our part to conserve in this drought," said Governor Brown. "The state is doing its part by providing immediate funding for drinking water, food, housing and assistance for water-conserving technologies," said Governor Brown.

There had been a plan in the works in the senate that would have quickly acted on water recycling and storm water reuse projects. What this new legislation does is add funding for emergency food and housing assistance for farm workers impacted by drought related layoffs.

California's leaders met at the Governor's Office of Emergency Services in the Sacramento area today to make the announcement.

This state legislation will complement federal drought assistance legislation that has been introduced by Senators Feinstein and Boxer and Congressional members Costa, Cardenas and Farr.

Here's a picture of what the new emergency spend proposal looks like. The total package is just over 680 million dollars.

It includes $549 million for local governments to support drought alleviation projects. $50 million goes to support efforts to provide food and shelter for those impacted by drought related layoffs. $40 million for water efficiency projects that are designed to save water and another $80 million will go for storm water capture construction.

Add this to federal aid and current water conservation efforts in the state and the Brown administration believes its coordinated response will be timely and comprehensive.

Some more rain will help too.

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