SACRAMENTO – The California Assembly passed both of CalCAN’s sponsored bills last week. Assembly Bill 409 (Limón), the Agricultural Climate Adaptation Tools bill, passed with a bipartisan, unanimous vote (76-0). Assembly Bill 1086 (Bauer-Kahan), a bill to protect and improve the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP), passed with a nearly two-thirds majority vote (53-18). Both bills now head to the Senate.
In presenting AB 409 on the Assembly floor, Assemblymember Monique Limón summed up the bill this way:
“AB 409 establishes a competitive grant program to help agriculture in California adapt to climate change. This program will develop climate adaptation tools, resources, and trainings to help farmers and ranchers plan for and adapt to climate change.”
To read more about AB 409, the Agricultural Climate Adaptation Tools bill.
In presenting AB 1086 on the Assembly floor, Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan described the critical role of California farms in the state’s economy and water stewardship, as well as the multiple benefits of SWEEP projects to farmers and public health. Those benefits include:
- Reduced water and energy costs
- Increased crop yields and quality
- Increased drought resiliency
- Improved air quality from replacing old diesel pumps
- Reduced nitrate contamination of groundwater
- Reduced GHG emissions (ranked 10th out of 50+ California Climate Investment programs)
“Members, as we discuss often in this body, every Californian deserves clean water and an adequate amount of water, and this bill will help us get there.”– Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan, speaking on AB 1086 on the Assembly Floor
AB 1086 improves the SWEEP program by incorporating stakeholder and expert recommendations, including:
- Incorporating groundwater recharge practices into the program
- Prioritizing grants for small and mid-scale farms and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers
- Providing trainings to irrigation operators to maximize the benefits of their new systems
- Enabling CDFA to pursue integrated pilot projects with irrigation districts and groundwater sustainability agencies
- Establishing a technical advisory committee to improve the program’s reach, user-friendliness, and develop SWEEP 2.0
Read more about AB 1086 to protect and improve SWEEP.
If you have questions about the bills or would like to sign your organization on in support of them, please email Brian[at]calclimateag.org