Gov. Newsom Protects CA Water Supply, Collaborative Solutions with SB 1 Veto

Byron, CA (September 28, 2019) – Responding to widespread input from a statewide coalition of business leaders and water agencies, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday vetoed Senate Bill 1 (Atkins). The Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID) and dozens of other organizations voiced strong opposition to the bill, which threatened to hurt California’s water supply reliability and derail critically important collaboration aimed at finding solutions to fix the Delta.

“Byron-Bethany Irrigation District commends Gov. Newsom for his decisive action in sending SB 1 back to the Legislature,” said BBID General Manager Rick Gilmore. “We appreciate his ongoing willingness to engage with California’s water community in search of workable solutions to protect both our environment, and the reliability and resiliency of our water supplies. Unfortunately, SB 1 as written would have done more harm than good. Thankfully, Gov. Newsom recognized that.”

The bill, authored by Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), passed in the waning hours of the legislative session. In his veto message, Gov. Newsom said that he “disagree[d] with the efficacy and necessity of SB 1.”

In more than 100 meetings with legislators on both sides of the aisle, BBID argued that the bill would have created an impassable roadblock to continuing the Voluntary Settlement Agreement (VSA) process, one of the most consequential, collaborative efforts in the history of California water. The VSAs would create a foundational framework for increased water management flexibility, habitat restoration, and protect endangered fish populations. Moreover, cutting-edge science developed over the past decade with millions of dollars of investments would have been discarded under SB 1.

“In Gov. Newsom’s directive to create a Water Resilience Portfolio, he called for creative solutions to meet our unprecedented water challenges,” added Gilmore. “Locking us into out-of-date science contradicts that call, and severely hampers our ability to meet the growing, evolving water needs of the state. We are grateful for his recognition of SB 1’s shortcomings in this regard.”

“Moreover, we are incredibly thankful for the help of a bi-partisan coalition of state and federal lawmakers, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who spoke out about the negative impacts of the bill,” Gilmore continued. “Now, we must continue to seek common ground for environmental stewardship, while using our best available science to meet the needs of the future.”

Latest on SB 1: Water Coalition Urges “No” Vote

A broad coalition of business organizations and water agencies, including the Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID), is urging lawmakers to vote “no” on Senate Bill 1.

The bill as currently written would derail collaborative efforts to restore the Delta and improve water deliveries. It would also cause litigation by applying the California Endangered Species Act to the federally-managed Central Valley Project, an unsettled area of law.

The full letter is below.

SB 1 Assembly Floor Alert 091119

Bipartisan Lawmaker Coalition to Gov. Newsom: Amend SB 1, Protect Voluntary Agreements

A bipartisan coalition of U.S. lawmakers, including Senator Dianne Feinstein, and Congressmen Jim Costa, John Garamendi, Josh Harder, and TJ Cox, are calling for amendments to SB 1 (Atkins).

The below letter was delivered today to Governor Newsom, urging him to “insist upon” amendments to the legislation to “preserve the viability of potential voluntary agreements over proposed outflow requirements for the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers.”

Opponents of the bill, including the Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID), believe that SB 1 goes far beyond its stated intent to insulate California from potential Trump Administration efforts to roll back existing federal protections for air, water, and endangered species. BBID has joined a statewide coalition of water organizations and business leaders asking for critical amendments to the bill, to protect water supply reliability for millions of Californians.

Read the full letter below.

SB 1 Opposition Coalition Seeks Amendments to Protect Californians’ Water Supply

Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID) joined a broad, statewide coalition of water agencies, business leaders and other concerned organizations opposing Senate Bill 1. BBID has strongly opposed the bill as written, contending it threatens water supply reliability for millions of Californians. Read the full letter to the bill’s author below.

SB 1 Coalition Letter to Atkins 090419 Final

SB 1: A Threat to California’s Water Supply

Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID) is joining a broad-based coalition of water agencies, business leaders and concerned constituents in calling for lawmakers to fix Senate Bill 1 (Atkins). SB 1 threatens water supply reliability for millions of Californians and threatens to derail the Voluntary Settlement Agreements in the Delta. Read more below!

BBID_SB1_UPDATED

Opposition Letter: SB 1 Likely to Have “Statewide Disruptive Impacts to the State’s Water Systems”

Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID) conveyed its strong opposition to Senate Bill 1, which BBID and a coalition of water agencies believes “…threatens water supply reliability for millions of Californians and jeopardizes efforts to improve the environmental health of the Sacramento and San Joaquin River watersheds.”

Read the full letter below.

BBID – SB 1 (Oppose)_

Water Agency Coalition: SB 1 “Threatens Water Supply Reliability for Millions of Californians”

A number of public water agencies, including Byron-Bethany Irrigation District, are strongly opposing Senate Bill 1. The below letter outlines concerns with the legislation, including how it threatens water supply reliability and may negatively impact efforts to improve environmental health of California watersheds.

20190611 LTR.SB 1 Coalition Letter FINAL - Asm ESTM