CSAC Bulletin Article

CSAC and Wildfire Coalition Partners Send Letter to Governor, Legislative Leaders

March 21, 2019

CSAC and our wildfire coalition partners sent a letter to the Governor and Legislature regarding the California’s increasingly devastating wildfires. The letter reaffirms the coalition’s commitment to working with the Legislature and Administration to address both the root causes of the growing threat of catastrophic wildfire and on critical safety measures that will help to prevent future events. The letter also reiterates our opposition to any changes in utility liability law, specifically to the constitutionally protected property rights doctrine of inverse condemnation.

CSAC has also been monitoring the SB 901 created Commission on Catastrophic Wildfire Cost and Recovery. The Commission is statutorily tasked with submitting a report by July 1st to the Administration and Legislature to include recommendations on changes to law that would ensure equitable distribution of costs among impacted parties. The first meeting took place on February 25 at City Hall in Sacramento. CSAC staff testified at the hearing in support of keeping the standard of inverse condemnation in place and expressed willingness to examine mechanisms that help protect ratepayers and socialize non-negligent liability costs.

The Commission held a second meeting on March 13 in Redding where CSAC Senior Legislative Advocate Cara Martinson participated as a panelist on a discussion about the current wildfire utility liability regime. Butte County CAO, Shari McCracken, also participated in a panel regarding community needs around wildfire damages. CSAC will continue to monitor the wildfire issue in the Legislature, Administration, and Commission.

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