September 15th marked the final day of the legislative session in California. Throughout 2017, San Juan Water District worked with the Regional Water Authority to shape legislation believed to be critical to the Sacramento region's economy and quality of life. Here is an update on two high-priority bills that have been pushed to the next legislative session:
Permanent Water Conservation
The Regional Water Authority (RWA) co-sponsored Assembly Bills 968 and 1654 to promote a water-industry supported approach to the Governor's framework for "Making Water Conservation a California Way of Life" but legislation related to long-term water conservation standards moved forward in Assembly Bill 1668 and Senate Bill 606. These bills contained major flaws and were not supported by the District or RWA.
Public Goods Charge on Water
Senate Bill 623 was amended in the final month of the session to include a tax on residential water bills. While the District supports the bill's intent, which is to fund safe drinking water solutions for disadvantaged communities, a tax on Californians' water bills is not the solution.
The District will continue to work with the State legislature to amend these bills in the next legislative session to better support the region's economy and quality of life.