On Sunday, the 2019 Conference Committee on the Budget voted for a safe drinking water funding solution for disadvantaged communities in California that do not have access to safe drinking water. The solution will be enacted through the 2019-’20 Budget and related trailer bill language. ACWA strongly supports this solution.
In the first year, Fiscal Year 2019-’20, the safe drinking water funding solution will be funded with $100 million from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) and $30 million from the General Fund. This will be part of the 2019-’20 Fiscal Year State Budget.
After the first year, the funding will be 5% of the GGRF continuously appropriated – capped at $130 million per year. The agreement include General Fund funding as a backstop if 5% of the GGRF is less than $130 million in any year. The funding will sunset in 2030. The solution does not include a water tax.
Trailer bill language will create a safe drinking water fund and provide the framework for the funding program.
“ACWA appreciates the leadership of the Governor, the Senate President pro Tem and the Speaker and the work of the Conference Committee in solving a complex problem to ensure that all Californians have access to safe drinking water,” said ACWA Deputy Executive Director for Government Relations Cindy Tuck. “ACWA strongly supports this solution and looks forward to its enactment.”
Many Legislators on both sides of the aisle played key roles in making this agreement possible. To name just a few of those, Senator Monning (D-Carmel) has championed this issue from the beginning. Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee Chair Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) encouraged stakeholders to come forward with ideas for how to solve the problem. Senator Anna Caballero (D-Salinas) authored the ACWA and California Municipal Utilities Association co-sponsored SB 669, which proposed a Safe Drinking Water Trust. Discussions on that bill helped inform the broader discussion regarding solutions.