San Gabriel Water Association Colleagues,
This page will provide Legislative and Regulatory Updates related to items reported at the SGVWA Legislative Committee. Integrated into this page are all the bills OSG is tracking on behalf of the association.
San Gabriel Valley Water Association
Follow-up From Meeting on February 24, 2020
AB2296 Quirk – Primacy agencies
Question: What’s different about this bill from last year’s version? Has ACWA taken a position yet?
This bill has previously introduced as AB402 in 2020. We spoke with the author’s staff and found that there are no substantive changes to the legislation yet. Staff indicated that the 2019 version was held on suspense because of fiscal implications. Assemblymember Quirk is in deliberations with leadership and Assemblymember Lorena Gonzales to identify amendments to secure the necessary votes. The author is requesting support letters for the bill. ACWA has a “Watch” position on this bill because there is a potential increase in fees for all public water systems if this legislation is enacted that could be diverted to help small systems in potential violation of Proposition 218.
AB 2322 Friedman – AB1666 Small system drought resilience provisions revoked.
Question: Why revoke? In deference to AB971 by Hertzberg?
The small system drought resiliency provisions are being proposed to be revoked because the provision was deemed unnecessary by the author. DWR is developing new recommendations for resiliency related to small systems as a result of the County Drought Advisory Group (CDAG) discussions. Assemblymember Friedman is awaiting these provisions at the request of the Governor’s office and intends on amending them into the bill. ACWA has opted to not take a position until these impending recommendations are reviewed.
SB 971 Hertzberg – Small Water Systems Drought Contingency Planning
Question: Would the costs be onerous for small systems?
The bill is co-authored by CMUA and the Community Water Center which along with CalMutuals (not a sponsor) were members of the County Drought Advisory Group (CDAG). CalMutuals is supporting the bill given that the bill’s requirements track with the CDAG discussions. The outstanding question yet to be resolved is the degree to which the counties will step-up to help coordinate the contingency planning and provide information resources to systems with less than 1,000 connections as required by AB1668 and SB606 and how AB2322 (see above) winds up interpreting the CDAG’s recommendations.
SB974 Hurtado = CEQA exemption for projects by small water systems
Question: Who is the sponsor? Who supports it?
SB 974 is sponsored by the Self-Help Enterprises and Rural Community Assistance Corporation because both of these groups work with communities in Tulare community and have firsthand experience how CEQA requirements such as the Mitigative Negative Declaration and initial studies add tens of thousands in costs to systems delaying the implementation of critical projects to ensure DAC communities receive safe drinking water. ACWA may oppose this legislation due to an unconfirmed narrative that this bill may be amended to focus on specific regions in Tulare County, Coachella Valley and small systems in Sen. McGuire’s district.
AB2462 (C. Garcia) – State Auditor authorized to audit governmental associations
Question: Who supports and opposes thus far?
Given the bill has been recently introduced, the author has not received any support or opposition to date. However, ACWA is in discussions about opposing the legislation due to a lack of clarity defining the types of “associations” the bill is related to. Garcia is working on language to clarify the definition of “associations” in the bill and welcomes comments from our systems.
AB2093 (Gloria) Requires utilities to retain emails and texts for 2 years
Question: Who is the sponsor? Why did Gov veto the similar bill last year, AB1184?
The sponsor is an advocacy group for public transparency called the Sunshine Coalition. The coalition’s rationale for this legislation is to address the concerns of local jurisdictions who have argued that the current two-year retention law is unclear regarding email record retention requirements and that the lack of clarity surrounding the “destruction of public records after two years” adds to the cost of managing and maintaining data. ACWA opposes this bill because it hasn’t been improved upon from last year’s AB1184.
The Governor vetoed the previous bill AB1184, stating that the legislation did not strike the appropriate balance between the benefits of greater transparency through the public’s access to public records, and the burdens of a dramatic increase in records retention requirements, including associated personnel and data management costs to taxpayers.
The following comment letters are available for review:
SB222 (Dodd): Would create a low income rate assistance program to help disadvantaged ratepayers ratepayers through direct water bill assistance, water bill credits, water crisis assistance, affordability assistance and technical assistance but does not identify a funding source.
SGVWA Position: Oppose Unless Amended
Click here to read SGVWA’s SB222 Position Letter
SB 223 (Dodd): This bill would extend existing water service discontinuation provisions to water systems with fewer than 200 connections. The legislation does not identify any funding sources to help small water systems deal with the financial impacts of implementing the provisions.
SGVWA Position: Oppose
Click here to read SGVWA’s SB223 Position Letter
SB230 (Portantino): This bill would require the state to assemble a science advisory panel as part of the Constituents of Emerging Concern Program and establish a financial assistance pathway for systems. The public transparency and state assistance provisions in the language streamline components of monitoring reporting.
SGVWA Position: Support
Click here to read SGVWA’s SB230 Position Letter
SB426 (Rubio): This bill would create financial capability guidelines for municipal storm sewer system permittees. The bill does not alter or waive water quality standards but does offer alternative compliance pathways for permittees located in disadvantaged communities.
SGVWA Position: Support
Click here to read SGVWA’s SB426 Position Letter
AB377 (Rivas): Would require that all California surface waters attain applicable beneficial uses by January 1, 2050. The blanket goal corresponds to the nuanced issue of California’s water quality objectives under the Clean Water Act.
SGVWA Position: Oppose
Read SGVWA’s AB377 Position Letter
AB703 (Rubio): Would ensure continued public access to local agency meetings conducted by teleconference. Governor Newsom’s executive order N-29-20 modified the Brown Act’s requirements for teleconferencing, and the bill would allow for the continued ability of the public to observe the meeting and provide public comment.
SGVWA Position: Support
Read SGVWA’s AB703 Position Letter