PRESS RELEASE - Senate Announces Safe Drinking Water Plan
SACRAMENTO – The State Senate has announced a plan to ensure safe drinking water throughout California.
The Senate’s proposal would implement a Safe Drinking Water Fund as outlined under SB 200, authored by Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel). Rather than relying on new revenues, the Senate’s proposal authorizes the continuous appropriation of $150 million annually from the General Fund, with the same level of protections in place that a new fee would provide to ensure the funds are used only to secure safe drinking water in the most vulnerable communities.
“California’s drinking water challenges are too urgent to ignore. This proposal creates a sustainable funding source to bring desperately needed relief to the communities in need,” Senate Leader Toni Atkins said. “I applaud Senator Monning for his relentless advocacy on this issue, and I thank the Governor for his leadership.”
In future years, should new fees or taxes be enacted to fund the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water program, the General Fund continuous appropriation will be reduced accordingly.
The Senate’s plan also includes passage of SB 414, by Senator Anna Caballero (D-Salinas). SB 414 authorizes the consolidation of small water management districts, serving disadvantaged communities, which consistently fail to provide an adequate supply of safe drinking water. Additionally, the proposal appropriates funds from Proposition 1 and Proposition 68 for various capital outlay projects to strengthen water delivery systems.
“Fixing the governance structure of failing water systems is essential to delivering safe drinking water across the state,” Senator Caballero said. “I’m pleased to bring a pragmatic approach to solving a crisis for so many Californians.”