CSAC Bulletin Article

Resiliency and Disaster Bills Request for Feedback: Part Two

March 15, 2 018

Climate resiliency and disaster response and management policy is a significant focus of this year’s legislative session. Many of the bills that have been introduced to address these issues could directly impact counties in a variety of ways. On March 1, CSAC sent out a list of bills that have been introduced this session in response to the devastating 2017 Fire Season. We are adding more bills to our list of disaster legislation and would like your input.

How might these bills impact your County OES or Planning Departments? We want to hear from you. Please send any comments or feedback on the following bills to CSAC  Legislative Analyst, Nick Cronenwett or call 916-650-8108 ext. 531

AB 2898 (Gloria): This bill would change the period of time that a local governing body would be required to review and reapprove the declaration of a local emergency from once every 30 days to once every 60 days.

SB 821 (Jackson): This bill would authorize each county, including a city and county, to develop a mechanism to access the contact information of resident accountholders through the records of a public utility or other agency responsible for water service, waste and recycling services, or other property-related services for the sole purpose of enrolling county residents in a county-operated public emergency warning system. The bill would specify that any county that develops such a mechanism would be required to include procedures to enable any resident to opt out of the warning system and not to use the information gathered for any purpose other than for emergency notification.

SB 1260 (Jackson): This bill would:

1. Requires counties with boundaries in the state fire responsibility areas or very high fire hazard severity zones to submit a safety element of the general plan to CAL FIRE and local fire coverage 180 days prior to adoption or amendment of that safety element. This would impose a state-mandated local program.

2. Require that subdivisions be consistent with Public Resources Code 4291 that prescribes defensible space requirements for landowners in mountainous, forest-covered, brush-covered, grass-covered, or other lands covered with flammable materials.

3. Change the liability law around prescribed burning procedures if certain conditions are met, make changes to other elements of prescribed burning law, and require the California Air Resources Board to develop a program to enhance air quality, improve smoke monitoring and, provide public awareness campaigns regarding prescribed burns.

4. Require the state marshal to develop a certification program for fire bosses, who contract and oversee prescribed burn operations.

5. Allow for the state to share costs related to prescribed burns on federal wildlands.

AB 2594 (Friedman): This bill would revise the standard form contract for fire insurance and the standard form contract for county fire Insurance policies and extend the period in which to bring a lawsuit to 24 months after the inception of the loss if the loss is related to a state of emergency. The period of time on this 24 months starts when the insured provides notice of a claim.

SB 1035 (Jackson): This bill would require counties to revise, if necessary, safety elements to include climate adaptation and resiliency strategies upon each revision to the housing element of a general plan.

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