Senate OKs Easley's drought response plan

July 17, 2008 1:55:15 PM PDT
Gov. Mike Easley's drought response plan is advancing in the General Assembly as lawmakers try to adjourn by the end of the week.

The Senate voted 36-9 on Thursday to approve the plan and send it back to the House.

Easley asked lawmakers to give governors more power to restrict usage during water shortages. He said state officials needed more power to act on shortages before droughts deteriorate into emergencies.

Lawmakers scaled back the governor's plan to help local water system officials who have already drafted and filed conservation plans with the state. They also made clear that private wells would not be regulated by the measure.

The Senate vote sends the bill to the House, which approved an earlier draft of the plan this week.