On August 25, 2018, California Senate Bill 120 was amended to eliminate all previous contents, or “gutted”, so that it could serve as a vehicle for the language of Assembly Bill 1000 (Friedman, D-Glendale), the 2017 bill that was designed principally to block the advancement of the Cadiz Water Project. As we reported last year, AB 1000 would have required a new, undefined environmental review never required of any other water conveyance project in California. AB 1000 was widely opposed for its precedent setting nature and held in the Senate Appropriations Committee on September 15, 2017, where it remains.
SB 120, sponsored by Senator Richard Roth (D-Riverside), contains identical language to AB 1000, but narrows the geographic area covered to refine its focus to only the groundwater use by Cadiz in the Mojave Desert. In narrowing the focus, we believe proponents sought to weaken the bill’s opposition. But, in the last 48 hours, more than 60 entities across California including public agencies, water districts, citizens groups, unions and the building industry have voiced their opposition to this clear political hit that would establish a dire precedent for all infrastructure projects in California. We believe opposition will continue to grow.
SB 120 is scheduled for a hearing tomorrow before the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. The hearing can be followed at this link: https://antr.assembly.ca.gov/hearings . If SB 120 passes out of Committee, then it will head to the full Assembly where it would be scheduled for a floor vote. Thereafter, it must return to the Senate for consideration. The legislative session ends on Friday, August 31, 2018.
We will continue to provide updates on our website.
More information about SB 120 is available at www.protectwaterandjobs.com