Part Two: California Cattlemen’s Association on Senate Bill 389

Part Two: California Cattlemen’s Association on Senate Bill 389

Welcome back to our miniseries on Senate Bill 389. Despite California Cattlemen’s Association’s initial opposition, the group later shifted its stance to neutral by the session's end, and the bill was ultimately signed into law by Governor Newsom.

Let's pick up where we left off with CCA’s Podcast; The Sorting Pen, with VP of Government Affairs Kirk Wilbur.

“The other major concern we had with that bill is that it changed current law about revocation... A pre 1914 water right can only be revoked if someone else has a competing claim to the water in question. This bill explicitly would've changed that. So even if no one else had a claim to that water under that, right, the water board still could have revoked that water. Right? We fought the bill on those two bases and fortunately in the last month's of session, the author agreed to amendments that removed both of those provisions.

So it was silent on the issue of the burden of proof, and it took out that provision about revoking a water, right, even when there's no competing claim of interest. As a result of that, the bill ultimately ended up being pretty minor in its effect as it was passed by the legislature. This was a bill that really just increased the kinds of evidence that the water board could require in an investigation. So it didn't really fundamentally impact water rights for water rights holders and ranchers in the state of California at all.”

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