Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and lawmakers failed to reach final agreement on ways to solve the state's water problems Sunday, but the governor nevertheless released scores of bills after concluding some progress had been made.
Schwarzenegger's action reversed a threat last week in which he vowed to kill "a lot" of the 704 bills on his desk unless he and legislators reached an agreement.
The governor said progress in closed-door talks was enough so that he is calling a special session on water, and discussions could continue. It was not announced when the session will start.
"While we still have a few remaining issues to work out, I commend the legislative leaders for their focus and commitment to solving this crisis, and I will weigh all the bills on their merits," he said in a statement Sunday evening.
For the past six days, Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders have met privately in tense talks aimed at solving decades of conservation, supply, environmental and other water-related problems.
Lawmakers released no details on their progress, although Assembly Republican Leader Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, said "there's evidence we're now moving in the right direction, which gives me cause for hope."
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, said he expects leaders to prepare bills for public hearings this week.
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