A bill by Assemblyman Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield, that intends to keep drinking water safe and affordable by expanding state assistance to water systems in larger, severely disadvantaged communities, cleared the Assembly Environmental Safety & Toxics Materials Committee this week.

Assembly Bill 560 was approved with a 7-0 vote.

“Communities in California should not have to struggle to access safe drinking water at home,” Salas said in a news release. “The financial assistance in AB 560 will help cities like Arvin provide families with safe, clean drinking water at affordable rates.”

The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, run by the State Water Resources Control Board, provides grants and low- or no-interest loans to water systems for infrastructure projects. Currently, only water systems serving communities smaller than 10,000 are eligible.

AB 560 expands eligibility to larger but still disadvantaged communities. The bill is now headed to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.

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