CMUA honors Coachella Valley Assemblymember with Legislative Leader Award
Monday, February 6, 2023
Section: CMUA News

by Mark Hyden
(left to right): CMUA Executive Director Barry Moline, CMUA Board of Governors President Dan Beans, Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, CMUA Senior Director of Energy Policy and Strategy Patrick Welch, and CMUA Deputy Executive Director Danielle Blacet-Hyden.

The California Municipal Utilities Association (CMUA) presented Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia with its Legislative Leader Award at CMUA’s Capitol Day event on Monday, February 6, 2023, in downtown Sacramento.

Garcia, a Democrat, is the chair of the Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee. Elected in 2014, Garcia also previously served as the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee chair. Garcia represents California's redrawn 36th District, which includes Coachella, Indio and all of Imperial County.

The award recognizes Garcia’s leadership during 2022 in two areas: securing additional customer assistance for the California Arrearage Payment Program (CAPP), a state-funded initiative that has disbursed approximately $1 billion to 1.7 million California customers who needed help paying their electricity bills during the pandemic, and his leadership as chair of the Assembly Committee on Energy and Utilities during a challenging year for the power sector.

 “COVID financially impacted customers of electric utilities across the state, and Assemblymember Garcia stepped up in a big way to deliver assistance for millions of Californians statewide,” said Patrick Welch, CMUA’s Senior Director of Energy Policy & Strategy. “He also has done a tremendous job as the committee chair during a time of significant transition on the grid.  His steady leadership is a must as the state grapples with summer reliability issues, supply chain delays, extreme weather, and a major grid buildout to meet clean energy goals and targets.”

“I am very proud of the work that we have been able to do, in conjunction with many of you [CMUA utility members], to ensure Californians have had the resources that they need during this particular time,” Garcia said Monday, referring to the financial assistance initiated during the pandemic to help California utility customers.

Past winners of the CMUA Legislative Leader Award include Senate pro Tempore Toni Atkins and former Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian (2021), and Assemblymember Chris Holden and Senator Anna Caballero (2019).