Legislature Advances Water Rights Bills to Appropriations Committees

  • by ACWA Staff
  • Apr 26, 2023
  • Water News

Two water rights bills in which ACWA is leading a large coalition to oppose advanced out of committees Tuesday despite several ACWA members and others in the coalition, testifying to urge “No” votes. A third water rights bill advanced last week. 

AB 460 (Bauer-Kahan) passed out of the Assembly Judiciary Committee with a vote of 7-2-2 and moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Brian Poulson, General Counsel for El Dorado Irrigation District and Chair of ACWA’s State Legislative Committee, provided lead testimony in opposition to the bill alongside Jennifer Pierre, General Manager of the State Water Contractors. More than 20 other people testified in opposition to the bill. 

SB 389 (Allen) passed out of the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee and will next moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee. While the bill narrowly advanced out of committee on a 6-3-2 vote, multiple committee members raised concerns with the bill. In particular, committee members questioned the need to hand the State Water Resources Control Board sweeping authority to investigate law-abiding water right holders.  

AB 1337 (Wicks) passed out of the Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee on April 18 with amendments and will also be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. 

ACWA has issued Legislative Alerts urging members to join the coalition and contact local legislators to share their opposition. Talking points are available to members to assist in those conversations.  

ACWA’s State Legislative Committee has taken an oppose position on all three bills that threaten to undermine the basic foundation of water management and water delivery in California. ACWA staff is making it a top priority to stop them and is leading a coalition of water and business/economic interests in opposition of the following bills. 

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