BILL ANALYSIS Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary Senator Christine Kehoe, Chair 1413 (Leno) Hearing Date: 05/27/2010 Amended: As Introduced Consultant: Dan Troy Policy Vote: ED 6-2 _________________________________________________________________ ____ BILL SUMMARY: SB 1413 would require a school district to provide access to free, fresh drinking water in the food service areas of all of the schools under its jurisdiction, by January 1, 2012. _________________________________________________________________ ____ Fiscal Impact (in thousands) Major Provisions 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 Fund Tap water in schools No costs General* *Counts toward meeting the Proposition 98 minimum funding guarantee _________________________________________________________________ ____ STAFF COMMENTS: SUSPENSE FILE. AS PROPOSED TO BE AMENDED. Current law restricts the sale of certain beverages at school sites. At elementary schools, only fruit-based and vegetable-based drinks with no sweetener, drinking water with no added sweetener, low- or non-fat milk or specified nondairy milk (e.g. soy milk) may be sold. At middle and high schools, similar restrictions apply from one-half hour before the start of the school day until one-half hour after the end of the school day, except that the sale of electrolyte replacement beverages that contain no more than 42 grams of added sweetener per 20-ounce serving. Current law requires that schools have at least one drinking fountain for 150 pupils. Current law does not prohibit the offering of the free, fresh drinking water. A recent survey conducted by Project LEAN found that 40 percent of school districts did not provide access to free drinking water during meals. As access was not defined in the survey, the California Food Policy Advocates (CPFA) speculates that this figure may actually understate the availability of fresh drinking water. The CPFA, among other groups, advocates access to free drinking water as a means of combating issues of obesity and hydration among youth. This bill, sponsored by the Administration, would require schools to provide access to free, fresh drinking water in food service areas as of January 1, 2012. This bill would impose a reimbursable state mandate on schools. There are a variety of ways in which California's 10,000 K-12 schools may choose to meet this requirement. The cost of purchasing and installing a water fountain ranges from $1,000 to $10,000 depending on the quality and composition of the fountain. The cost of installing a hydration station is also estimated to be approximately $1,000. Schools may also choose to have staff fill up water dispensers during meal times. Some of these costs would be ongoing and some would be one-time depending on the choice of the school. Page 2 SB 1413 (Leno) Assuming 40 percent of schools decided to install a hydration station or fountain, costs for implementing this bill would $4 million. Costs could be more or less depending on how schools choose to comply with the bill's requirements. All costs would be reimbursable by the state. AB 2704 (Leno, 2008) made clear that it was permissible for districts to provide free drinking water in food service areas and would have prohibited schools from entering into or renewing contracts that would restrict the availability of free tap water. This bill was vetoed by the Governor. As proposed to be amended: The requirement that schools must provide drinking water in food service areas would be removed. The bill would clarify that schools are authorized to provide free tap water in food service areas. The bill would also prohibit school districts from entering into, or renewing, a contract that restricts access to free tap water on campus.