ACWA-Sponsored Legislation Aimed at Further Reforming Proposition 218 Process

  • by Dave Eggerton
  • Feb 16, 2024
  • Voices on Water

When ACWA builds strong coalitions, we give our advocacy the best possible opportunity to succeed in benefiting our members. And this year, we’ve hit the ground running by launching a coalition in support of an ACWA-sponsored bill that could inject some badly needed common sense into the Proposition 218 process for setting rates. 

We’ll depend on member agencies joining this coalition by signing onto a letter and engaging with their local legislators. A recent Outreach Alert contains all the information your agency needs to get behind this effort.

As some ACWA members unfortunately know from first-hand experience, the current system allows litigants opposing rate settings to avoid the administrative process altogether and surprise agencies with a lawsuit after the rates have already been adopted. 

The bill ACWA is sponsoring would aid public agencies in defending against Proposition 218 lawsuits by requiring litigants to participate and raise specific objections during the public administrative process. In doing so, this proposal intends to bring to light all possible complaints and provide an opportunity to resolve a dispute and avoid litigation altogether. 

Authored by Assemblymember Lori Wilson (D-Suisun City), AB 2257 would build on the success of ACWA-sponsored legislation in 2021. That bill created a 120-day statute of limitations for filing lawsuits against water and sewer rates through the Proposition 218 process. The momentum behind its success relied on nearly 100 organizations, including ACWA members, joining a coalition in support of the bill as it moved through the Legislature.

We’ll rely on that level of engagement on our latest sponsored legislation, as well on many other advocacy efforts, as we move into another consequential year in Sacramento and our nation’s capital. 

If your agency has a history of engagement through ACWA, your continued support will prove essential to the success of our advocacy. If you are a new member, or haven’t engaged through ACWA in the past, keep an eye out for updates from ACWA. They will give you the background, tools and specific steps on how to engage. 

This is a great year to get involved and experience how you can make a positive difference within California’s water community, for your agency and especially for the people you serve.

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