California to Add Clean Air and Water Rights to Its Constitution

California to Add Clean Air and Water Rights to Its Constitution

California lawmakers have introduced a Constitution Amendment to include the right to a clean environment.

Here are the details of the news.

California To Add Clean Air And Water Rights To Its Constitution

The state of California has proposed a constitutional amendment to ensure a healthy environment for its citizens and strengthen environmental protection laws.

On Monday, Democratic Assemblyman Isaac Bryan declared that the state constitution would include a provision guaranteeing the right to clean air and water for California residents.

When delivering his speech at the Assembly Natural Resources Committee, Bryan said, “Our people do not have a fundamental right to clean air, clean water, and a healthy environment. We can change that, and we’re going to change that.”

“In California, we’re a national leader in addressing climate change and injustice. We’re a global leader in addressing climate change and injustice,” added the Assemblyman.

The latest provision, ‘Assembly Constitutional Amendment 16,’ passed the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on Monday. However, it needs to go through a few more steps before it can be voted on by Californians.

It must pass both California’s houses by at least two-thirds voting and then by majority vote at polls.

California to Add Clean Air and Water Rights to Its Constitution
California to Add Clean Air and Water Rights to Its Constitution

Bryan, the chairperson of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee, a panel that decides the state’s environmental policy, introduced the amendment.

Bryan noted that California lags behind many other states in securing clean environment rights to its constitution.

Bryan said, “In California, we beat our chest about being climate champions; we do it nationally, we do it globally, but we are behind other states.”

He continued, “If our state is to continue making equitable environmental progress, it is imperative that we join the growing list of states who have moved to enshrine environmental rights in their constitutions.”

According to the sources, states like Pennsylvania and Montana have included “Green Amendments” in the 1970s.

California is considering including the right to clean environment provisions and environmental management strategies to reduce oil and gas usage within the next two decades.

Moreover, many other states, such as Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, Washington, and Kentucky, are working to introduce similar provisions.

While the Assembly Natural Resources Committee deems the Amendment necessary, the California Chamber of Commerce opposes it, labeling it a “job killer.”

The chamber has declared the Amendment to have “far-reaching negative consequences that would impair government operations, stunt development for new housing, infrastructure, and clean energy project development, and has strong potential to destabilize California’s economy.”

The Amendment that would give California’s citizens the right to clean air, water, and a healthy environment now goes to the Appropriations Committee for analysis.

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Eliana Cooper

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