During a press conference Thursday, Newsom rejected calls from state lawmakers this week to declare a statewide drought emergency.
“We're preparing to do many things,” said Newsom. “As it relates to a specific declaration of emergency, which has all kinds of component parts, we're not prepared to do that at this moment.”
Newsom said the state is already actively doing all the “commensurate components” the lawmakers had asked for in the letter. He said to expect “a lot more on that subject” in the coming days and weeks.
Federal agencies are working with California and other western states on drought preparations as well.
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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement that the departments “are committed to an all-hands-on-deck approach” to minimize the impacts. State and federal agencies are coordinating resources and identifying immediate financial and technical assistance for impacted irrigators.