The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged our communities, businesses, and lives in unprecedented ways – and similarly challenged the California Legislature with a historically short session due to closures of the State Capitol. September 30 was the deadline for Governor Newsom to sign or veto bills that made it to his desk, marking the official end of the 2020 legislative session.
A number of bills and initiatives took a disappointing turn and were dropped early this session (including CCKA’s efforts to ensure California makes smart investment and infrastructure decisions in light of rising sea levels, preventing microfiber and microplastic pollution, and improved management of stormwater that washes pollution from our streets into the ocean), but we did see victories for California’s rivers, beaches, and our communities this year:
- The 2020-21 California Budget included key protections for California’s rivers and fish threatened by federal dams.
- The Safe and Affordable Drinking Fund was bolstered by Senate Bill 115, to ensure California continues its commitment to ensuring safe, reliable, and affordable drinking water for every California household – even during severe budget shortfalls.
- Senate Bill 1044 (Allen) prohibits toxic PFAS chemicals in firefighting foam to protect the health of our environment and our first responders.
CCKA is already preparing for next year’s session to continue our momentum in protecting clean water for all Californians. Looking ahead to 2021, CCKA and your local Waterkeepers are committed to preventing the proliferation of polluting industries in communities already facing disproportionate environmental and economic injustices, improving water affordability for every California household, and ensuring clean rivers, beaches, and estuaries ahead of the Clean Water Act’s 50th Anniversary.
Stay tuned by subscribing to our monthly newsletter to learn more about our work to secure clean, affordable water or become a member of CCKA to directly support clean water now – and for years to come.
Policy Manager Kaitlyn Kalua represents CCKA and its member Waterkeepers in state regulatory and legislative forums to advance statewide water policy.