Water, ethics bills play big roles in 2014 session - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Water, ethics bills play big roles in 2014 session

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Drought and water issues will play a prominent role in this year's legislative session as most of California is dealing with the consequences of one of the driest periods on record.

Since the Legislature reconvened in January, 1,929 bills were introduced in advance of Friday's deadline.

The legislation reflects a sense of urgency among lawmakers. The drought has forced farmers to fallow fields and some communities to declare mandatory water reductions.

The biggest drought bill proposes to spend $687 million for water recycling and conservation projects while providing housing and food assistance.

To address California's long-term water needs, lawmakers from both parties also agree they need to revamp an $11.1 billion water bond already on the November ballot.

They have proposed five options, ranging from $5.8 billion to $9.2 billion.

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