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WIN! California governor signs right to water legislation

California Governor Jerry Brown

California Governor Jerry Brown

The Imperial Valley News reports, “Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced (Friday) that he has signed a series of bills to help ensure the availability of clean drinking water to all Californians. ‘Clean drinking water is a basic human right,’ said Governor Brown. ‘The bills I have signed today will help ensure that every Californian has access to clean and safe sources of water. Protecting the water we drink is an absolutely crucial duty of state government.'”

Brown signed into law – AB 54 by Assemblymember Jose Solorio (D-Santa Ana) –Drinking water; AB 938 by Assemblymember V. Manuel Pérez (D-Coachella) –Public water systems; AB 983 by Assemblymember Henry Perea (D-Fresno) – Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund; AB 1194 by Assemblymember Marty Block (D-San Diego) –Drinking water; AB 1221 by Assemblymember Luis Alejo (D-Salinas) – State Water Quality Control Fund: State Water Pollution Cleanup and Abatement Account; AB 1292 by Assemblymember Roger Hernandez (D-Baldwin Park) –Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund: revenue bonds; and SB 244 by Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis) – Local government: land use: general plan: disadvantaged unincorporated communities. To read the bills, go to http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/.

In an April 2011 campaign blog, we noted that — 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.”

A previous Human Right to Water bill passed the California legislature in May 2009, but was later vetoed by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Supporters of this right to water legislation in the state of California include Food & Water Watch, 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, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee and Southern California Water Alliance.

Congratulations to our friends and allies on this tremendous win!