Valley Groups Divided On Support For Major Drinking Water Bill

More than 300 California communities lack access to clean drinking water.
Last fall, a bill with a proposed solution passed the state senate but has since remained in limbo, receiving both broad support and opposition—even in the San Joaquin Valley.
They voiced their support of Senate Bill 623, which would establish a fund to help communities like theirs obtain safe drinking water.
But at the same Assembly subcommittee hearing where Garcia and Solorio supported the bill, many groups spoke out against it.
The reason: The fund would come from a statewide tax on water bills, as well as fees on some growers.
One group opposed is the city of Fresno.
“We do agree that there is a need for safe drinking water, but we oppose the water tax,” she said.
The Association of California Water Agencies, the League of California Cities, and a variety of municipal water districts also voiced their concerns about the bill.
“If you are in the Central Valley, it seems to me that we have an extra special obligation to make sure that we’re joining hands together to ensure that all of our fellow Californians that live, reside, work in the Valley can have access to safe drinking water,” Nelson said.
A state representative confirmed as much at last week’s hearing.

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