Bill Provides More Financial Security for Agencies Providing Essential Services
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 23, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) is applauding Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing SB 323, which will help provide financial stability for public agencies by creating a 120-day statute of limitations for challenges to new water and sewer rates.
SB 323, sponsored by ACWA and authored by Sen. Anna Caballero (D-Salinas), extends the timeframe for challenging fees that fund other essential government services to water and sewer rates assessed by public agencies. It also requires agencies to inform customers of this new legal protection prior to the adoption of a new rate structure to help ensure transparency and public participation during the rate-setting process.
“Simply put, this bill strikes a balance between protecting the rights of ratepayers and allowing public water and sewer agencies more financial certainty,” said ACWA Executive Director Dave Eggerton. “That security is essential in order for agencies to maintain a stable budget, fund critical infrastructure projects and provide reliable water and wastewater services to the public.”
The bill received broad bipartisan support throughout the legislative process.
“ACWA appreciates Senator Caballero’s support in recognizing the need for water and sewer rates to be given the same legal guardrails as other fees and charges and authoring the bill to resolve this important issue,” Eggerton said.
Caballero reiterated a similar sentiment.
“Thank you Governor Newsom for your signature on SB 323,” she said. “This bill will allow customers to bring challenges within a reasonable period of time, so that water agencies can start to regain some fiscal stability. I am proud to have worked on this issue with the agencies that provide such essential services to our communities."
ACWA is a statewide association of public agencies whose more than 450 members are responsible for about 90% of the water delivered in California. For more information, visit www.acwa.com.
Contact: Heather Engel, Director of Communications | (916) 441-4545 | C (760) 217-0627