SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders are set to announce emergency drought-relief legislation as California enters its fourth consecutive dry year.
Brown’s office announced a news conference at the state Capitol for Thursday to present the legislation, but it released no details of the plan.READ MORE: Brazen Thieves Caught On Video Ripping Off Deer Valley High Camera Equipment
The announcement with Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon comes one year after Brown signed a $687 million drought-relief package.
The drought’s effects have continued to ripple across California, fueling more wildfires, forcing farmers to leave fields unplanted and leaving thousands in the Central Valley without work.
The water in the Sierra Nevada snowpack, California’s largest water source, is far below normal. Winter is normally California’s rainy season, but it’s drawing to an end without significant storms to replenish reservoirs.READ MORE: Worker Shortage Lingers As San Francisco Restaurants Attempt To Recover From COVID Fiscal Woes
Continuing dry conditions drove state water regulators this week to ramp up mandatory water restrictions on California residents. Under rules approved Tuesday by the State Water Resources Control Board, Californians can’t water their lawns daily and must ask for water when dining at restaurants.
The $687 million funding package provided immediate aid such as drinking water for communities facing dire shortages and food and rental assistance. Most of the money is going to local agencies for projects like water recycling and new wells, with another $250 million set to be awarded by fall.
READ MORE: Complete Drought Coverage
Lawmakers last year also negotiated a $7.5 billion water-bond measure with the governor, which was approved by voters in November. Money from that measure could be tapped to speed up local water projects.
Evan Westrup, a spokesman for the governor, declined to provide any details about the proposal. Spokespeople for Atkins and de Leon also declined to comment on the drought-relief legislation.MORE NEWS: Colorful, Dramatic Atmospheric Performance At de Young Museum Wows Crowd
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.