Last week Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law the Water Ratepayers Protection Act of 2023 (Assembly Bill 399) adding affordability safeguards for residents and businesses in the San Diego County Water Authority’s service area..
The legislation, introduced by Encinitas Assemblymember Tasha Boerner and sponsored by the City of San Diego, expands voting requirements should agencies seek to withdraw or “detach” from the Water Authority.
“AB 399 provides a necessary safeguard moving forward for utility customers in the region struggling to make ends meet,” Boerner said on the Assembly floor on Sept. 12.
Under the new law, a majority vote in both the separating district and the County Water Authority would be necessary to complete a detachment as of Jan. 1, 2024.
“This is a simple matter of fairness,” said Water Authority Board Chair Mel Katz. “The people whose rates would increase if a water district leaves the County Water Authority should have a say. It’s gratifying that the state Legislature and the governor added these important protections for disadvantaged communities, working families, farmers, and others across San Diego County.”