Governor Brown approves legislation preventing fines for dried up brown lawns

(KTVU/AP) -- Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation to protect California residents who let their lawns go brown during the drought. Brown announced Monday that he signed AB1, which prohibits local governments from penalizing residents who conserve water by not watering their lawns.

Democratic Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown introduced the bill after hearing about residents in her San Bernardino district getting fined for parched landscaping.

The Democratic governor has ordered California communities to slash water use by as much as 36 percent compared to 2013 levels and the administration is urging residents to let their lawns go brown to meet the targets.

The governor previously prohibited homeowner associations from punishing residents who scale back their landscaping to be more drought-tolerant.