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California lawmakers in stalemate over state water plan

The legislators have only hours to strike a deal that would head off the governor's threat to veto hundreds of unrelated bills.

October 11, 2009|Patrick McGreevy

SACRAMENTO — State legislative leaders remained stalemated Saturday over proposals to improve California's water supply, leaving little more than 24 hours to strike a deal that would convince Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger not to carry out his threat to veto many of the 704 unrelated bills on his desk.

Democratic and Republican leaders emerged from a three-hour meeting with the governor and acknowledged that they remain divided on issues including the size of a water bond measure, protections for existing water rights and proposals to force water conservation. They plan to resume the closed-door negotiations this morning.

"Sadly, there was little in the way of progress," said Assembly Minority Leader Sam Blakeslee (R-San Luis Obispo). "We as Senate and Assembly Republicans put forward a number of alternative proposals, solutions to deal with defects in what is frankly a very bad bill right now. At this time none of them have been accepted."

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) acknowledged that "there may not be this big handshake" deal before the midnight deadline to veto bills.

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patrick.mcgreevy@latimes.com

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