Senator issues statement about funding for safe, affordable drinking water
–Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel) issued the following statement on Senate Bill (SB) 623, regarding safe and affordable drinking water, being included in Governor Brown’s Budget Summary:
“I am grateful to the Governor for his commitment to provide all Californians with clean and safe drinking water as outlined in his proposed January budget. While I continue to work with a broad based coalition of supporters on the enactment of my Senate bill (SB) 623, I know we all applaud the Governor’s support for the communities throughout California that do not have access to safe drinking water. These Californians deserve better and I will continue to urge my colleagues in the Legislature to work together with the Governor to finally achieve the guarantee of safe and affordable drinking water to all Californians.”
Senate Bill 623 will establish the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund to provide an ongoing source of funding to finance water improvement projects throughout California. Approximately 300 water systems in California currently have pollutant violations, such as arsenic, lead, nitrates, and uranium that have been linked to nausea and vomiting, cancer, reduced mental functioning in children, nervous system decline, miscarriages, and numerous other health issues.
Support of the fund will come from a fertilizer mill fee, a fee on dairies, and a fee assessed on water bills of no more than $1 a month per household, and is anticipated to generate $140 million a year. Low-income rate exemptions are provided for households under 200-percent of the federal poverty level.