Central Valley leaders demanded the creation of a Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund earlier this month in Visalia.
The diverse coalition of more than 90 organizations that has supported Senate Bill 623 (Monning) this year remains committed to the fight for safe drinking water. One million Californians turn on their taps to dangerous water. This injustice has gone on for too long. By delaying action on Senate Bill 623 this year, the state legislature chose to leave our most vulnerable Californians in the midst of a vast public health crisis that dwarfs that experienced by Flint, Michigan.
When the legislature reconvenes in January, we will continue our advocacy to ensure all Californians have access to the basic human right to safe and affordable water.
Hundreds of individuals across the state contacted their legislators to demand a Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund. The historically diverse coalition behind SB 623 is a testament to the urgency of this issue and the unique opportunity afforded by SB 623.
The policies represented in SB 623 are informed by years of experience and discussion about how to solve California’s long-standing gap in operations and maintenance funding for drinking water treatment. They are the result of a year of bipartisan policy discussions, convened by the author, Senate Majority Leader Senator Bill Monning, and crafted with input from major environmental justice, environmental, water, health, and agricultural stakeholders.
We urge the Legislature to act swiftly to resolve California's long-standing drinking water crisis, and to take advantage of the unique opportunity afforded by SB 623 to do so.