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Governor Jerry Brown, State Legislators Unveil $1 Billion Drought Relief Plan

SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) – California Governor Jerry Brown and four leaders of the state legislature have unveiled a plan to spend more than $1 billion in bond money for drought relief in the state.

Brown was joined by Senate President pro Tem Kevin de Leon, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, and Republican leaders Senator Bob Huff and Assemblymember Kristin Olsen Thursday to announce the legislation, aimed at helping drought-stricken communities.

"This unprecedented drought continues with no signs yet of letting up. The programs funded by the actions announced today will provide direct relief to workers and communities most impacted by these historic dry conditions," Brown said.

The legislation includes more than $1 billion for local drought relief and infrastructure projects.

Most of the proposal would accelerate spending that voters have approved for water and flood projects. That includes $128 million in expenditures from the Governor's budget to provide direct assistance to workers and communities impacted by drought and to implement the Water Action Plan. The legislation would also accelerate $272 million in Proposition 1 Water Bond funding for safe drinking water and water recycling and $660 million from Proposition 1E for flood protection in urban and rural areas.

"The drought isn't letting up, so we can't let up either," said Assembly Speaker Atkins. "This legislation will deliver relief to Californians harmed by the drought and help us manage the significant problems the drought continues to cause."

The legislation requires majority approval from the state legislature.

Earlier this week, the State Water Resources Control Board voted unanimously, adopting an expanded emergency regulation to prohibit certain water use, such as washing down sidewalks and driveways, watering outdoor landscaping in a manner that causes excess runoff, and washing cars with a hose not fitted with a shut-off nozzle.

Since February of 2014, California has spent over $870 million in support of drought relief.

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