California Legislators Fight for Water Bottle Filling Stations
California Assembly Bill (AB) 2638 was introduced by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (CA-50) on February 18, 2022, with co-authors Marc Levine (CA-10) and Robert Rivas (CA-30).
The bill aims to provide water bottle filling stations in all K-12 public schools. It was sponsored by American Heart Association and endorsed by several dozen other organizations including American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Californians Against Waste, the Northern California Recycling Association, the United States Healthful Food Council (a.k.a. Eat Real), and the Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation.
Bill language underwent significant amendment during the legislative process and, as of this writing, the mandate would apply only to new construction and to schools undergoing modernization. Further, it would depend on passage of a bond measure by November 2022 to cover costs for schools.
The bill met with only unanimous “yea” votes in its passage through the Assembly and awaits passage in the California Senate.
AB 1953, introduced by Assemblymember Brian Maienschein (CA-77) and sponsored by Californians Against Waste, would mandate that owners or operators of public spaces including transit hubs, local parks, public buildings, publicly owned buildings (excluding schools, restaurants and residential buildings), shopping malls or municipal golf courses provide at least one water bottle filling station.
The bill passed its committee hearing and is currently in the Appropriations Committee’s suspense file.