- Associated Press - Thursday, August 14, 2014

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The $7.5 billion water package Gov. Jerry Brown brokered with legislative leaders this week marks a rare bipartisan agreement on a thorny, politically divisive issue that has stymied California’s governors and lawmakers for decades.

To get sign-off from the dizzying array of interests, Brown and lawmakers from both parties hunkered down behind closed doors. He finally gave Republicans more of the funding for reservoirs and water storage they wanted.

The state’s crippling drought provided the motivation to overcome longstanding divisions. Voters in November will consider a proposal that balances regional politics with the state’s overall water needs.

It includes money for dams and water storage, recycling, cleanup, watershed improvements and flood management.

It is also a big win for the Democratic governor as he campaigns for re-election this year.

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