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Politics

Gov. Brown Signs Off On $687 Million Drought Plan For California

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A sign on a farm trailer reading 'Food grows where water flows,' hangs over dry, cracked mud at the edge of a farm April 16, 2009 near Buttonwillow, California. Central Valley farmers and farm workers are suffering through the third year of the worsening California drought with extreme water shortages and job losses. The office of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger predicts Central Valley farm losses of $325 million to $477 million and total losses for crop production and related business to be between $440 and $644 million. Central Valley is expected to lose 16,200 to 23,700 full-time jobs and food prices are expected to rise nationwide. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

(David McNew/Getty Images)

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation to provide immediate relief to drought-stricken communities.

With his signing Saturday, more than $687 million will fund communities running low on drinking water and farming communities where fallowed fields are leading to sky-high unemployment.

The plan redirects money in the state budget and draws from two bonds previously approved by voters.

It includes $472 million in accelerated grant funding for water conservation and recycling projects. Another $15 million will fund housing and food for workers directly affected by the drought.

California lawmakers overwhelmingly passed the plan on Thursday.

Brown said in a statement that the legislation marks a crucial step, but Californians must continue to take every action possible to conserve water.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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