After a full week of long days in the California legislature, Senate Bill 1 passed both houses in the early hours of Saturday morning. The California Environmental, Public Health, and Workers Defense Act of 2019 known as SB 1, was passed right before the legislature began its interim recess. The bill is now headed to Governor Gavin Newsom, who surprisingly issued a statement over the weekend indicating that he would not be supporting SB1.
“I fully support the principles behind Senate Bill 1: to defeat efforts by the President and Congress to undermine vital federal protections that protect clean air, clean water
The statement comes as welcome news to those who remained opposed to the bill out of concern of what it would do to the voluntary agreements that have been and are continuing to be developed to address California’s water concerns. Shortly after the vote was tallied, Executive Director of the California Farm Water Coalition Mike Wade said in a statement that “California’s Legislature said ‘no’ to future-oriented water policy including new environmental protections and ‘yes’ to an outdated regulatory system and business as usual.”
Several California lawmakers who have previously voiced concern regarding the bill, including Senator Dianne Feinstein and Congressmen Jim Costa, John Garamendi, TJ Cox, and Josh Harder released a statement supporting Governor Newsom’s decision not to support SB 1.
“We applaud the Governor’s leadership in vetoing this bill, and his efforts to solve California’s difficult water challenges with solutions that meet the needs of the 21st century,” the letter stated. “Working together with all water users provides the best hope for avoiding endless litigation on the management of California’s water supply. We know this through experience.”
Governor Newsom will have until Sunday, October 13 to sign or veto any bills that were passed by the legislature.