Legislature Approves Drought Resilient Communities Act Amid Historic Drought
Majority Leader Hertzberg’s bill to strengthen California’s drought response in small and rural communities awaits Governor’s signature.
SACRAMENTO — The state Legislature advanced crucial legislation Thursday in California’s efforts to combat worsening drought conditions just weeks after one of the state’s biggest water reservoirs reached its lowest-ever point. Senate Majority Leader Robert M. Hertzberg's (D-Van Nuys) Drought Resilient Communities Act (SB 552) strengthens drought preparedness in small and rural communities often hit the hardest by drought.
“We’re leaving no Californian behind in the face of this historic drought,” said Majority Leader Hertzberg. “Yesterday’s approval in the Legislature could not come at a more important time for California’s communities preparing for years of extreme conditions, possibly the worst in our lifetime. Our state’s small towns need every tool available to protect California families - especially the most vulnerable - from catastrophic water shortages.”
With the Assembly’s passage Wednesday and the Senate’s concurrence Thursday, SB 552 now heads to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk to await his signature to become law.
“I’m hearing stories every day from rural farmers and their families about how this year’s drought is like nothing they've experienced before,” Majority Leader Hertzberg said. “We must do everything we can to protect these families, improve response and mitigate impacts from worsening climate crises. I’m urging the Governor’s quick approval as part of our state’s robust drought response.”
In the last major drought that ended in 2016, nearly a half-million Californians were impacted by water shortages, and some were left without running water for extended periods of time. If signed into law, SB 552 will improve local planning and statewide coordination, as well as update emergency responses. Support for the legislation spans a broad coalition of climate, water and civic engagement advocates.
Majority Leader Bob Hertzberg represents nearly one million San Fernando Valley residents of Senate District 18, which includes part of Burbank and the following communities in Los Angeles: Arleta, Granada Hills, Hansen Dam, Lake View Terrace, Mission Hills, North Hills, North Hollywood, part of Northridge, Pacoima, Panorama City, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, part of Sun Valley, Sylmar, Toluca Lake, Valley Glen, Valley Village, Van Nuys, the City of San Fernando and Universal City. Learn more at senate.ca.gov/hertzberg.