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The Latest: California Senate approves drinking water fund

July 9, 2019

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on a California drinking water proposal (all times local):

8 p.m.

The California Senate has voted to send Gov. Gavin Newsom a bill to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to improve contaminated drinking water.

The bill cleared the Senate on Monday by a vote of 38-1, giving it bipartisan support.

Newsom says about 1 million Californians don’t have access to clean drinking water. The bill would spend $130 million per year over the next decade to help improve water systems. Most of the money comes from the state’s cap-and-trade program aimed at fighting climate change.

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5:30 p.m.

California lawmakers are poised to send legislation to Gov. Gavin Newsom that will spend $130 million a year over the next decade to improve drinking water for about a million people.

About 1 million of California’s nearly 40 million residents don’t have access to clean drinking water because of pollution from humans or natural causes. Newsom proposed a tax on most residential water bills to address this problem. But lawmakers were wary of approving a new tax in a year when they had an estimated $21.5 billion surplus.

Lawmakers on Monday are slated to approve $130 million a year to help distressed water systems operate. The money comes from a fund to improve the state’s air quality.

Democratic Sen. Bob Wieckowski opposed the bill, saying the funding source is inappropriate.

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