Agriculture

Newsom indicates veto to controversial Senate Bill 1

Update (9/14/2019, 6:45 p.m.): It appears that, despite late night legislative theatrics at the close of the 2019 legislative session, Gov. Gavin Newsom is likely to veto the state’s marquee environmental bill, Senate Bill 1.

Authored by Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D–San Diego), would tie California’s environmental standards to Federal regulations on the books on the final day of the Obama administration.

It was seen as a pre-emptive strike against the Trump administration, which is in the midst of reassessing the biological opinions governing water deliveries from the Central Valley Project.

Less than 24 hours after passage, Newsom announced he was likely to veto the proposal.

“I fully support the principles behind Senate Bill 1: to defeat efforts by the President and Congress to undermine vital federal protections that protect clean air, clean water and endangered species,” Newsom said Saturday via statement.

“Senate Bill 1 does not, however, provide the state with any new authority to push back against the Trump Administration’s environmental policies and it limits the state’s ability to rely upon the best available science to protect our environment,” the statement added.

Newsom echoed sentiments expressed by five California Democrats in Washington, including a top ally – Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

They, along with Central Valley legislators, argued that Senate Bill 1 would restrict scientific advancements in analyzing California’s water needs and air quality conditions by relying on outdated science.


Original Story (09/14/2019, 7:45 a.m.): California legislators approved Senate Bill 1, a marquee environmental bill aimed at freezing water delivery and clean air regulations from Federal changes, early Saturday morning.

The bill’s passage came in the face of opposition from high-profile Democrats, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein, and Valley legislators.

Authored by Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D–San Diego), would tie California’s environmental standards to Federal regulations on the books on the final day of the Obama administration.

The Trump administration is in the midst of reassessing the biological opinions governing water deliveries from the Central Valley Project

The California Assembly approved the bill in a late-night, 43-21 vote.

With the exception of Asm. Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton), all San Joaquin Valley Assembly members voted against the measure.

The Senate, on a concurrence vote at 1:30 a.m. vote, voted 26-14 to send the bill to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Ahead of the votes, Newsom and his team privately expressed reservations over Senate Bill 1 and its ramifications on water users in the Central Valley and Southern California.

Valley legislators did not hold back their dismay at the bill’s passage early Saturday:

Alex Tavlian
Alex Tavlian is the Executive Editor of The San Joaquin Valley Sun and Executive Director of Valley Future Foundation. You can reach Alex at alex.tavlian@sjvsun.com.