ACWA-Sponsored Safe Drinking Water Trust Bill Passes Second Senate Policy Committee by Heather Engel Apr 23, 2019 Water News SB 669, legislation authored by Senator Anna Caballero (D-Salinas) that would create The Safe Drinking Water Trust, passed the Senate Governmental Organization Committee today by a 15-0 vote and is now headed to the Senate Appropriations Committee. ACWA and the California Municipal Utilities Association (CMUA) are sponsoring the bill which would help community water systems in disadvantaged communities provide access to safe drinking water. ACWA Deputy Executive Director of Government Relations Cindy Tuck opened the support testimony for the bill, and many ACWA member agencies or their representatives supported the bill at the hearing. “With a record budget surplus for the 2019-’20 fiscal year, it is the perfect time to create and fund a Safe Drinking Water Trust as a durable funding solution,” Tuck said. “This problem can be solved without a water tax.” SB 669 would create The Safe Drinking Water Trust to be funded with an infusion of General Fund dollars during a budget surplus year. The state would invest the principal, and the net income would provide the needed ongoing revenue stream for drinking water solutions in disadvantaged communities. It is a better approach than a statewide water tax that would tax a resource that is essential to life and work against water affordability throughout the state. In addition to supporting SB 669, ACWA has an oppose-unless-amended position on the water tax proposals in the Newsom Administration’s budget trailer bill and AB 217 (E. Garcia). ACWA’s Spring Conference will include a Statewide Issues Forum on funding for safe drinking water that will be moderated by State Water Resources Control Board Chair Joaquin Esquivel. Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross will be one of the panelists.