California lawmakers on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a $687 million plan to provide immediate relief to drought-stricken communities, a package that includes emergency money for communities running low on drinking water and farming communities where fallow fields are leading to  high unemployment . The bill now awaits Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature. Amid one of California’s driest years on record, the Assembly and Senate voted to approve SB103 and SB104 and send the legislation to the governor. The legislative package moved quickly after it was announced last week by Brown and Democratic legislative leaders. It will take effect immediately if signed, as expected, by the governor. The plan redirects money in the state budget and draws from two bonds previously approved by voters. It includes $472 million in accelerated grant funding for water conservation and recycling projects. Another $15 million will go to communities running low on drinking water supplies while […]