Senate Approves $1 Billion Water Plan

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The state Senate has approved a $1 billion proposal to speed up spending on water projects in drought-stricken California. The Senate on Wednesday voted 35-1 on the package to accelerate infrastructure spending. An accompanying measure authorizing fines for illegal water diversions passed on a party-line vote, with Republicans opposed. The legislation contains few details about how $660 million set aside for flood protection will be spent for levees, dams and Central Valley communities. A nonpartisan analyst says lawmakers typically know which flood protection projects they are approving. The legislation also allows state water officials to wait five years to select recipients. The Assembly plans to vote on the water bills Thursday, then send the package to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature.