State Sen. Henry Stern, D-Calabasas, authored several bills that passed the Senate floor this week, heavily focusing on power shutoffs and wildfires.
“Wildfires and power shutoffs aren’t going to respect our fight against COVID-19. As we push for major investments to tackle the root causes of our growing wildfire threats and power shutoffs, this legislation will make us more resilient in the coming months,” said Stern in a prepared statement. “We cannot become desensitized to a yearly cycle of the lights going off and the flames flying high – these are avoidable catastrophes.”
His legislative package includes bills he authored and co-authored:
- Senate Bill 1215 looks to promote the use of microgrids for electric generation and requires the California Public Utilities Commission to create a database of critical facilities and infrastructure.
- SB 1348 aims to enhance fire prevention efforts by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention, including improved vegetation management.
- SB 1312, co-authored with Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, aims to encourage the undergrounding of electric lines in high-fire threat areas and spur investor-owned utilities to invest in fire risk reduction.
- SB 884, jointly authored with Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, will add public safety power shutoffs to the list of emergencies for which a local educational agency’s average daily attendance is held harmless.
- SB 801, co-authored by Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita and others, deploys backup power to disabled Californians and those living under severe fire threat.
- SB 1320 looks to calculate the state’s climate liabilities.
- SB 1175 aims to crack down on illegal wildlife trafficking and sales in order to address zoonotic disease transmission and prohibits the possession of certain iconic African trophy species among other things.
- SB 795 will invest $10 billion in affordable housing, homelessness assistance, workforce development and resilient infrastructure.