Legislative Leaders Fine Tune Bills For Water Special Session

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, October 12, 2009
State lawmakers are preparing to debate bills this week to fix California’s aging water delivery and storage system in a special session.  

But, as Capital Public Radio's Steve Shadley reports, legislative leaders are still working out their differences over what the bills will look like...
Democrats are confident the bills to upgrade California’s aging water network will be ready when lawmakers return to the Capitol.  

Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg says his party is pushing for more than nine-billion dollars in bonds to finance water construction projects... 
Steinberg: “We’ll have storage. But the reason we think this plan has a chance to pass is because at the same time the package calls for aggressive water conservation...”
Steinberg says the goal is to cut water use by 20-percent by 2020. 

But, Assembly Republican Caucus spokesman Seth Unger says they’re concerned that could spark future lawsuits over water rights...
Unger:  “Whether there’s going to be opportunities for environmental attorneys or others going out and suing based on conservation standards and suing to take away water rights from some individuals...”
Republicans and Democrats say the water package must include a comprehensive plan to protect the delta as well as farmers that depend on water from the area. 

But, they’re at odds over a new governing body that would do that.