Both of Senator Henry Stern’s senate bills set for committee hearings on Tuesday are successfully moving forward.
One of many steps to keep natural gas injections out of Aliso Canyon, Senate Bill 57 passed the Energy, Utilities and Communications committee 9-1, with only Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) opposing.
If the bill goes into effect, a root cause analysis would have to be completed in Aliso Canyon to determine the cause of the October 2015 gas leak before considering resuming injections on the site.
“The community of Porter Ranch has been aggrieved, they’ve been sick, their kids have been made sick, they had to be kicked out of their homes unwillingly and their lives have been turned upside down,” Stern said in his testimony. “I think the same issue could happen to any of us and it has happened in many of our communities. The goal of this legislation is to bring some comfort to the communities of the north valley without compromising the integrity of the grid.”
Los Angeles County Fire Department Chief Bill Jones, L.A. County Chief Legislative Representative Phyllis Marshall and California Environmental Justice Alliance Policy Advocate Diana Vazquez, as well as community members, all testified at the hearing.
Governor Jerry Brown requested an amendment to the bill, asking that gas injections would be allowed in Aliso Canyon in emergency situations. Stern accepted this amendment, helping him gain needed votes to pass the bill through committee, his office said.
The bill will go to the Senate Appropriations Committee next before being sent to the full Senate.
Heard Tuesday afternoon by the Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee, of which Stern is the chairman, Senate Bill 286 passed 4-0.
For voters who lose their vote-by-mail ballot or never receive it, the bill would allow voters to cast a regular ballot at a live polling place instead of a provisional ballot.
“Voters are one step closer to not being left in limbo when casting provisional ballots at the polls,” Stern said to The Signal.
Senate Bill 286 will go to the Senate Appropriations Committee before hitting the Senate floor.
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