BILL ANALYSIS SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION Gloria Romero, Chair 2009-2010 Regular Session BILL NO: SB 1413 AUTHOR: Leno INTRODUCED: February 19, 2010 FISCAL COMM: Yes HEARING DATE: April 14, 2010 URGENCY: No CONSULTANT:Lynn Lorber SUBJECT : Access to Drinking Water KEY POLICY ISSUES Should schools be required to provide access to free, fresh drinking water in food service areas? Will schools seek reimbursement for providing access to drinking water? SUMMARY This bill requires a school district to provide, by January 1, 2012, access to free, fresh drinking water in the food service areas of the schools under its jurisdiction. BACKGROUND Current law restricts the sale of beverages at schools as follows (Education Code 49431.5): For elementary schools : Regardless of the time of day, only the following beverages may be sold to a pupil: Fruit-based drinks that have at least 50% fruit juice and no added sweetener. Vegetable-based drinks that have at least 50% vegetable juice and no added sweetener. Drinking water with no added sweetener. Two percent fat milk, 1% fat milk, nonfat milk, soymilk, rice milk, and other similar non-dairy milk. For middle or junior high and high schools : From one-half hour before the start of the schoolday until one-half hour after the end of the schoolday only the following beverages may be sold to a pupil: SB 1413 Page 2 Fruit-based drinks that have at least 50% fruit juice and no added sweetener. Vegetable-based drinks that have at least 50% vegetable juice and no added sweetener. Drinking water with no added sweetener. Two percent fat milk, 1% fat milk, nonfat milk, soymilk, rice milk, and other similar non-dairy milk. An electrolyte replacement beverage that contains no more than 42 grams of added sweetener per 20-ounce serving. Current law requires at least 50% of the items, other than federal food commodities, offered for sale each schoolday at any schoolsite by any entity or organization during regular school hours to be selected from the following: (EC 38085) Milk and dairy products. Full-strength fruit and vegetable juices and fruit drinks with at least 50% juice, and fruit nectars with at least 35% full-strength fruit juice. Fresh, frozen, canned and dried fruits and vegetables. Nuts, seeds and nut butters. Nonconfection grain products. Meat, poultry and fish, and their products. Legumes and legume products. Any food which would qualify as one of the required food components of the Type A lunch defined in the National School Lunch Act. The California Plumbing Code requires schools to have one drinking fountain per 150 people, and authorizes water stations to be substituted for drinking fountains where food is consumed indoors. There are no requirements for the refrigeration of drinking water. ANALYSIS This bill requires a school district to provide, by January 1, 2012, access to free, fresh drinking water in the food service areas of the schools under its jurisdiction. STAFF COMMENTS 1) Need for the bill . The author's office did not provide any background or supporting materials relative to this bill. However, according to information provided by the SB 1413 Page 3 author for prior legislation, "the RAND Corporation found that public school students have limited access to drinking water, especially at meals. Apparently, some schools are under the impression that they cannot provide free water in school cafeterias because the Education Code requires milk to be included with school meals, or because the school has a contract with a company to sell bottled water on campus." 2) Mandate . This bill imposes a mandate by requiring schools to provide access to drinking water in food service areas. Will schools seek reimbursement from the state for providing access to drinking water? 3) Prior and related legislation . AB 2084 (Brownley, 2010) among other things, requires licensed child day care facilities to make clean and safe drinking water readily available and accessible for consumption throughout the day. AB 2084 is pending in the Assembly Human Services Committee. AB 2704 (Leno, 2008) would have prohibited a school district from entering or renewing a contract that restricts the availability of free tap water on the school campus; and, authorizes schools to provide free tap water in school food service areas. AB 2704 was vetoed by the Governor, whose veto message read: This bill authorizes schools to provide free tap water for students in the food service area during the school day. Nothing under current law prohibits a school from providing free tap water to its students. This bill also prohibits a district from entering into contracts that prohibit the availability of free tap water. This bill essentially seeks to regulate a perceived lack of common sense amongst California's school administrators, implying that they are not acting in the best interest of our students, by denying SB 1413 Page 4 kids access to free tap water. I do not believe this particular bill is necessary. Instead of signing this bill, I would much rather work with the Legislature on finding more positive and constructive ways to promote the accessibility and consumption of clean water in our schools. SB 1255 (Padilla, 2010) beginning July 1, 2011, prohibits schools from selling electrolyte replacement beverages to pupils from one-half hour before school until one-half hour after the end of the schoolday. SB 1255 is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Health Committee on April 14, 2010. SUPPORT California Center for Public Health Advocacy California Medical Association California Teachers Association County Health Executives Association of California Environmental Working Group San Mateo County Board of Supervisors OPPOSITION None received.