Lawmakers approved a momentous overhaul of California's ailing water system early this morning, but approval came only after Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg agreed to strip a $10 million earmark for a Sacramento project he personally has championed.
The five-bill package, including an $11 billion bond measure, ended months of tense negotiations involving scores of interest groups over how to bolster supply, improve delivery and solve environmental problems plaguing the water system.
"This vote will be remembered years from now," Assembly Republican leader Sam Blakeslee said after an all-night session that ended shortly before 6 a.m. today.
"This Legislature has been able to accomplish something that no Legislature has been able to accomplish in decades," Steinberg said. "We all know that people ask, 'Can this Legislature actually take on the biggest, most intractable problems, and find solutions?' The answer is yes."
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