11 Sep Company Further Updates Legislative Status and Process for California Assembly Bill 1000
California Assembly Bill (AB) 1000 is a “gut and amend” bill introduced outside of the normal legislative process that would create a secondary, undefined environmental review for water conveyance projects in the Mojave Desert, including the Cadiz Water Project. Ironically, in the name of environmental protection, AB 1000’s proponents are urging the Legislature to undermine and circumvent California’s world-renowned, well-defined and judicially reviewable environmental protection laws in favor of selectively subjecting some but not all projects to different levels of scrutiny. The process referenced in AB 1000 is unprecedented and without defined standards.
As the Company previously announced, on September 1, 2017 the California State Senate Appropriations Committee held AB 1000 on the Senate’s suspense file rather than voting to further advance the legislation during the current California legislative session, which adjourns on Friday, September 15th. The suspense file is a special category of bills with a fiscal impact that are subject to additional scrutiny by the Appropriations committee in both the Senate and Assembly. With no further suspense file hearings scheduled in the Senate prior to September 15, bills that remain on suspense, including AB 1000, cannot be further considered by the Legislature in this session without the action of the Senate President Pro Tempore or the Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
If AB 1000 were removed from the suspense file, it must be considered and passed by the full Senate and then considered and passed by the full Assembly by Friday, September 15th in order to become law. Prior to passage in the Assembly, AB 1000 should also be considered and passed by the Assembly’s Water, Parks & Wildlife Committee and the Assembly’s Appropriations Committee. If AB 1000 were to complete these steps, it would then go before the California Governor for his consideration. The Governor must consider all bills approved during the legislative session prior to October 15, 2017. If the Governor does not veto the bill, AB 1000 would become law on January 1, 2018.
AB 1000 is widely opposed by more than 70 local, state and national organizations, including labor unions, local government groups, chambers, cities, and water agencies, as harmful public policy that would create new uncertainty for all infrastructure improvements in California, jeopardizing jobs and reliable services for communities in need.
We are grateful that the California Senate leadership has held AB 1000 on the suspense file. We will continue to work with the Stop AB 1000 coalition to educate the Legislature about the bad policy precedent this bill would establish, as well as its unjust treatment of the Cadiz Water Project. To learn more about AB 1000, visit www.StopAB1000.com.