Security and stability in the face of future wildfires
Today, California's lawmakers passed a bill co-authored by Chad Mayes, Assemblyman and New Way California leader, that aims to get fire victims money faster, provide financial stability to utilities and avoid a further downgrade of the utilities' bond ratings.
The measure includes a $21 billion fund. The money will then be used to pay for damages related to wildfires caused by power company equipment.
Companies will have to reimburse the fund if they’re found to have acted unreasonably to start a fire. The bill is an attempt to strike a balance between holding utilities accountable, but not putting them at risk if they acted in good faith.
This will then be matched dollar for dollar with contributions from utility shareholders, while being rate-neutral on all electrical corporation ratepayers.
The bill also includes safety improvements to limit future fires including an annual safety certification, regular field audits and improved Wildfire Mitigation Plans. It also creates the Wildfire Safety Advisory Board which will work in conjunction with the Wildfire Safety Division, the Catastrophe Council, and the future Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety.
This bill was only possible because Republicans, Democrats, the Governor, and dozens of stakeholders came together to find a solution. This is what can happen when we put partisanship aside, and put Californians first.
We all know the importance of preparations for future wildfires and other natural disasters. Please consider helping to spread the word about this legislation by sharing this message with your family and friends.