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NEWS: California legislative committee passes right to water bill

Bay Area Indymedia reports, “(On) Tuesday, April 26…safe water advocates from across the state hailed the passage of AB685, the Human Right to Water bill, by an overwhelming margin in the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee and the passage of four additional bills in the Human Right to Water bill package – AB938, AB 983, AB1187 and AB1221 – in the Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee. …The Human Right to Water bill package will establish a right to water for basic human needs as a policy of the state of California and makes changes to existing programs to begin to realize this right.”

“Residents of California communities without access to safe drinking water traveled hundreds of miles to attend the committee hearings. Legislators were visibly moved as 75 advocates of all ages and backgrounds gave powerful testimony in support of each bill in the Human Right to Water package.”

“Supporters of the bill include the Winnemem Wintu (McCloud River) Tribe, Clean Water Action, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Stockton, Urban Semillas, California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, Environmental Justice Coalition for Water, Unitarian Universalists Ministry California, Community Water Center, Food & Water Watch, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee and Southern California Water Alliance.”

A previous Human Right to Water bill passed the California legislature in May 2009, but was later vetoed by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. There is now a renewed hope that the human right to water bill can be passed given that Democrat Jerry Brown became the Governor of California this past January.