Key NACWA-Championed Bills Introduced on Low-Income Water Assistance, Utility Resiliency

(October 30, 2019) – Two key pieces of legislation NACWA strongly supports have been introduce on a bipartisan basis in the Senate and House in recent days.

On October 22, Sens. Cardin (D-MD) and Wicker (R-MS), alongside Reps. Fudge (D-OH) and Katko (R-NY), introduced identical bipartisan legislation in the House and Senate to establish pilot programs to assist low-income households in maintaining access to sewer and water services. The legislation closely resembles a bill first introduced on a bipartisan basis in the Senate last Congress, and builds on marker bills long championed by Rep. Fudge. NACWA is partnering on an initiative with the Water Environment Federation (WEF) to advocate with Congress to advance this concept and build a broad stakeholder coalition of support.

On October 18, Sens. Cardin and Capito (R-WV) introduced bipartisan legislation to establish a clean water utility resiliency grant program for local utilities. Similar legislation was introduced earlier this year in the House by Reps. Carbajal (D-CA) and Napolitano (D-CA). NACWA worked last Congress to have this grant program created for clean water utilities as part of the 2018 Water Resources Development Act, but ultimately it was not codified on the clean water utility side (only the drinking water side, where the House Committee of Jurisdiction supported the bill). NACWA is advocating for inclusion of this clean water grant program as part of the 2020 Water Resources Development Act.

NACWA is pleased that both proposals have secured bipartisan and bicameral support. Contact Kristina Surfus or Jason Isakovic, NACWA’s Legislative Directors, to discuss.