The California state Senate has approved the $1 billion drought relief package announced last week by Gov. Jerry Brown.
The first of two bills – the one that would spend the money – passed quickly with just a single “no” vote.
But the second measure, which would make related policy changes, drew Republican opposition. GOP senators argued that it would give the state Department of Fish and Wildlife too much power by allowing it to issue fines of up to $8,000 a day for violating water rights.
The bills now move to the Assembly, which is expected to give final approval Thursday morning.