Legislative Outreach Alert: Opposition Letters Requested on Water Service Shut-Off Bill SB 998

  • by Kanisha Golden
  • Jun 13, 2018

ACWA Moves to an Oppose Position

ACWA’s State Legislative Committee voted to adopt an oppose position on SB 998, authored by Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa), which would change existing water service shut-off policy although there is no current in-state data to indicate that this issue is a large problem in California.

ACWA members are urged to contact their legislators to express opposition to SB 998. Legislator contact information and a sample letter are provided below.

Background

As amended on May 7, 2018, the bill would replace current water district service shut-offs processes that are already tailored by local water districts to meet the needs of their agency customers.  A new one-size-fits-all statewide program would be created instead that would prevent service shut-offs for at least 60 days for delinquent customers, create a cap on reconnection fees that may or may not cover the actual cost of these physical reconnections and trigger Prop. 218 concerns for public water agencies, and expand authority to both the State Water Resources Control Board and the Attorney General to enforce provisions of the bill.

While the author has accepted previous amendments including deleting language which would have required a public health officer to determine via a physical visit that a water shutoff would not pose a grave threat to the health and safety of the residents, the bill still contains provisions that continue to complicate current water district policy and create cost-shift probability as outlined above.

Tack Action

ACWA is requesting that members take the following actions as soon as possible:

  1. Send an Opposition Letter. ACWA members are urged to send letters of opposition to their local legislators asking them to vote no on SB 998.

    To ensure your agency receives credit towards the Outreach Awards program, please use ACWA’s Outreach Interaction Form to send a copy of your final letter to ACWA.

  2. Call Your Legislators. ACWA members are also encouraged to call their legislators and ask them to vote “No” on SB 998. Legislators’ contact information can be found online.

    To ensure your agency receives credit towards the Outreach Awards program, please use ACWA’s Outreach Interaction Form to report any telephone interactions with legislators.

Questions

For questions about SB 998 (Dodd), please contact ACWA Director of State Legislative Relations Wendy Ridderbusch at (916) 441-4545.