SB 623 Becomes Two-Year Bill by Emily Allshouse Sep 6, 2017 Water News On Sept. 1, the Assembly Appropriations Committee referred SB 623 by Sen. Bill Monning (D-Carmel) – a bill aimed at funding safe drinking water solutions for disadvantaged communities by proposing to establish the state’s first tax on drinking water – to the Assembly Rules Committee as a two-year bill. The Assembly Rules Committee will assign the bill to the appropriate policy committees for hearings in 2018. While ACWA has consistently agreed with the goal of providing funding assistance to disadvantaged communities that do not have access to safe drinking water, the association worked to oppose a statewide tax on drinking water because it is NOT the right approach to solving this key social issue for the state. ACWA continues to work to advance a more appropriate funding solution comprised of dollars from the state’s General Fund, packaged together with ongoing federal safe drinking water funds, general obligation bond funds, and the proposed assessments related to nitrates in groundwater. ACWA would like to thank the many member agencies that played an integral role in opposing this bill on both the legislative advocacy and external affairs fronts over the past several weeks. ACWA will continue to work on this bill during the interim, and there likely will be talks with the sponsors of SB 623. Work on the bill also will continue next year. More information about ACWA’s SB 623 opposition efforts is available to members in ACWA’s Sept. 1 notification. If you have any questions regarding SB 623, please contact Deputy Executive Director for Government Relations Cindy Tuck at (916) 441-4545.