September 17, 2019

WG Applauds Gov. Newsom’s Plan to Veto SB 1

Just hours after California lawmakers passed SB 1 last week, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that he plans to veto SB 1 – a bill that would set state environmental rules and regulations in stone as they existed at the end of the Obama administration, ignoring new science and facts.

“We applaud Governor Newsom for pumping the brakes on a bill that would have undermined the collaborative progress his administration and water users are making toward enhanced river flows and water quality in the Delta,” said Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif in a press statement.

SB 1 would require the state’s water and fish agencies to disregard the latest scientific research in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the factors that have led to the decline of endangered and threatened fish populations, and adaptive management strategies designed to improve both ecosystem conditions and water project operations. Western Growers members’ strong objections communicated to legislators played a role in the amendment of two provisions. However, the most damaging provision of SB 1 – forcing the federal Central Valley Project to be governed by the California Endangered Species Act – was not amended before it passed last week.

Click here to access the official tally of the Assembly floor vote. At the time of this writing, the Senate concurrence vote had not been posted online. Western Growers thanks the Republicans in both houses for their “no” votes. We also thank the Democratic members who stood up for the thousands of family farmers and rural residents in the San Joaquin Valley and across the state by voting “no” or abstaining. Among them:

  • Noes:
    • Assembly: Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno), Adam Gray (D-Merced), Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield), Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova)
    • Senate: Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger), Anna Caballero (D-Salinas), Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton)
  • Abstentions:
    • Assembly: Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove), Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella), Robert Rivas (D-Hollister), Blanca Rubio (D-Baldwin Park), Freddie Rodriguez (D-Chino), James Ramos (D-Highland), Tom Daly (D-Anaheim), Adrin Nazarian (D-Van Nuys), Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach)
    • Senate: none

“Our farmers strive to be good stewards of the environment and our natural resources, and we support a balanced approach to water resiliency that relies on the best available science,” said Nassif. “There is a better path forward, and we anticipate the opportunity to work with both the Newsom administration and legislators to craft water policy that protects both the environment and the economic viability of our family farms for future generations.”