State Senate Outlines 2021 Wildfire Roadmap
March 11, 2021
As of March 1, more than 50 bills directly related to wildfire, forestry and fire safety, as well as two resources-focused bonds (AB 1500 and SB 45), have been introduced in the Legislature. Both houses are working through an early-action wildfire and prevention budget package, as well as the Governor’s broader $1 billion proposal for forest health and safety. CSAC has weighed in early on budget actions, submitting letters to the Senate and Assembly budget committees on early implementation and wildfire and fire prevention support.
The Senate has convened a Wildfire Working Group co-chaired by Senator Mick McGuire (D-Healdsburg) and Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) and has released a legislation package and budget framework to prioritize fire prevention and response efforts in coordination with Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego). The “Blueprint for a Fire Safe California” is a comprehensive policy outline that includes a four-pronged approach to wildfire resiliency and response for the state.
The plan hinges on four key areas of focus: Training and deploying a fire resiliency workforce; implementing a modern-day vegetation, forest-management, and community hardening plan; expanding consumer access to the homeowners’ insurance market; and developing short and long-term funding plans here in the State of California.
As part of the Blueprint, the State Senate Budget Subcommittee on Resources, Environmental Protection and Energy approved a $573 million budget framework on wildfire prevention and response on Tuesday. This framework lays out the Senate’s Budget Subcommittee priorities for early budget action and builds upon Governor Newsom’s $323 million early budget proposal. This fiscal framework will be part of negotiations to move a wildfire prevention and response budget bill in the coming weeks and not wait until the traditional budget approval process in June.