Wildfire Legislation Ensures Payment to Victims and Protects Ratepayers

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

With Camp Fire survivors at the forefront of his mind, Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Tehama) pushed for the passage of Assembly Bill 1054, a bill to secure compensation for fire victims and protection for utility ratepayers.

“Eight-five lives lost. 14,000 homes burned. Camp Fire survivors lost everything,” said Senator Nielsen. “Eight months after the state’s most destructive wildfire, many residents are still without homes – living in limbo.”

Senator Nielsen added, “This measure will give Paradise residents and those living on the Ridge hope to rebuild. With strong bipartisan support, lawmakers are rallying together to help our fellow Californians rebuild their homes and their communities.”

Specifically, AB 1054 would provide quicker payments and greater legal protection to wildfire victims, create more safety regulations for utilities and protect ratepayers from rate increases.

The measure establishes performance requirements for utility companies on the safety of their infrastructure. They will also be required to develop a compliance process for their wildfire mitigation plans. These are important provisions in making these corporations accountable and ensuring ratepayers’ monies are being used to reduce wildfire risk and keep the public safe.

Assembly Bill 1054 passed the Senate on Monday evening with a vote of 31 to 7. Later this week, it heads to the Assembly, where it is expected to pass with bipartisan support.

The Governor has worked closely with legislators to craft this critical measure, and he hopes to have it on his desk by Friday.