Veto Letters Requested for AB 685
ACWA members are encouraged to send letters to Gov. Jerry Brown requesting a veto of AB 685 (Eng), legislation that would establish a “right to water” statute in state law.
The bill would declare it is the policy of the state that every human has the right to clean, affordable, and accessible water adequate for human consumption, cooking and sanitary purposes and that state agencies shall consider this policy when revising, adopting, or establishing policies, regulations and grant criteria. By declaring a “right to water” this measure could potentially upend decades of legal precedent and have major budget implications for public water agencies at a time when local budgets are already stretched. It could also negatively affect the ability of water agencies to provide safe, clean and affordable water to all their customers.
ACWA worked with a coalition to offer amendments to address these concerns. However, the coalition and the bill’s sponsors were unable to reach an agreement.
AB 685 cleared its final legislative hurdle on Aug. 29. The governor has until Sept. 30 to sign or veto the bill.
Letters are requested as soon as possible to register that water agencies up and down the state have concerns with the bill.
Specific points are outlined in ACWA’s veto request letter and a sample letter sent with a legislative alert to ACWA members. The alert can be found here.