California Governor Jerry Brown’s budget proposal would make a significant change to the state’s Safe Drinking Water Program. Last year, the Department of Public Health came under fire for failing to spend almost a half billion dollars to provide drinking water to communities that need it.
Under Brown’s budget proposal, the State Water Resources Control Board would run the program in the future. Jennifer Clary, with Clean Water Action, says she’s glad the program will be taken from the Department of Public Health.
Clary: “There, the drinking water program was a program, within the division under an agency in a department so it was such a lot of red tape to go through to accomplish things that we just got discouraged.”
The proposal transfers $200 million and almost 300 positions. Brown’s budget says programs designed to protect drinking water are managed now by a number of agencies, a situation which reduces their effectiveness.