Safe Drinking Water Trust Legislation Passes Unanimously Out of Senate Environmental Quality Committee

  • by Matt Veeh
  • Apr 10, 2019
  • Water News

SB 669, legislation authored by Senator Anna Caballero, was heard in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee today and passed unanimously on a 7-0 vote. The bill, which is being sponsored by ACWA and the California Municipal Utilities Association (CMUA), will now go to the Senate Governmental Organization Committee for a hearing on April 23.

“There is no doubt that this is a public health crisis and a sustainable solution is long overdue,” Senator Caballero told committee members, before outlining the advantages of SB 669 as the solution to funding safe drinking water. “SB 669 is the fastest way to immediately address the needs of the largest affected population in the nearest timeframe.”

ACWA Deputy Executive Director of Government Relations Cindy Tuck and CMUA Director of Water Danielle Blacet joined Senator Caballero in testifying in support of the bill at the hearing. Tuck told the committee that everyone involved in the issue agrees that there is a problem that should be solved this year. She also noted that the Trust is a better alternative funding mechanism than a statewide water tax.

“The Trust would not add to the cost of water,” stated Tuck. “It wouldn’t make water less affordable in California.”

During the committee hearing, the bill was supported by numerous water agencies and municipal representatives in attendance, many of which are ACWA members.

SB 669 would help community water systems in disadvantaged communities provide access to safe drinking water. The bill 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 work against water affordability throughout the state.

ACWA encourages its member agencies to testify at the upcoming Senate Governmental Organization committee hearing on April 23 and to send letters of support to your agency’s state representatives, as well as to the Senate Governmental Organization Committee members. For more details, please see the ACWA Outreach Alert that was sent to members on April 1.

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