- Associated Press - Thursday, June 4, 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The California Assembly is unanimously advancing a bill extending $10 million worth of grants and low-interest loans to cash-strapped homeowners looking to make essential water improvements.

Improvements could include drilling wells, connecting homes to existing water supplies and installing systems to make contaminated groundwater safe to drink.

Loans or grants would also be extended for wastewater projects such as closing abandoned septic tanks.

Republican Assemblyman Devon Mathis of Visalia proposed the bill because of growing problems in his Central Valley district due to the ongoing state drought. The situation has proven particularly dire in East Porterville, a town which has become notorious for its hundreds of dry wells.

Lawmakers passed AB954 with a 60-0 vote, sending it to the Senate.

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