A bill that would forbid cities and counties in California from banning artificial grass passed easily through the State Senate on Wednesday, September 9.

Under Assembly Bill 1164, introduced earlier this year by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Glendale), cities and counties would be barred from banning synthetic grass, artificial turf or drought-tolerant landscaping on residential property, according to Capital Public Radio.

CPR reports Sen. Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton) said AB 1164 will help with water conservation even after California’s ongoing drought eventually abates.

“Californians are spending their own hard-earned money to invest in water-efficient technologies and protect our state’s precious water resources,” Gatto said upon introducing the bill, according to California Newswire. “Intruding on a homeowner’s private property and fining them for trying to do the right thing for our state, our environment, and our local communities sends the wrong message.”

According to the text of the bill, AB 1164 would prohibit a city, including a charter city, county, and city and county, from enacting or enforcing any ordinance or regulation that prohibits the installation of drought tolerant landscaping, synthetic grass, or artificial turf on residential property, as specified.

If passed, AB 1164 would supersede any local ordinances that exist prohibiting artificial grass, such as the ordinance being debated by the city of Sacramento, because the bill would additionally state that the issue is one of statewide concern.

The Senate approved the bill Wednesday on a 38-1 vote. It goes back to the Assembly for a final vote.

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