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AB-1609 Public utilities: fireproofing programs.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/22/2019 09:00 PM
AB1609:v99#DOCUMENT


n, and operate their electrical lines and equipment in a manner that will minimize the risk of catastrophic wildfire posed by those electrical lines and equipment. Existing law requires electrical corporations and local publicly owned electric utilities to prepare annually a wildfire mitigation plan.
This bill would require the Public Utilities Commission to direct each electrical corporation and gas corporation to file an application for programs to provide financial assistance to owners of residential properties in fire-prone areas within their respective service territories to install improvements to reduce or eliminate wildfire impacts on those properties or to purchase emergency equipment or supplies for use in case of a deenergization event. The bill would require that the programs be funded through voluntary contributions from customers of the corporations. The bill would require the governing board of a local publicly owned electric or gas utility to implement analogous programs to provide financial assistance to owners of residential properties in fire-prone areas within the service territory of the utility. Because this bill would impose additional duties on the governing boards of local publicly owned electric or gas utilities, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
Under existing law, a violation of the Public Utilities Act or any rule, order, decision, or direction of the commission is a crime.
Because a violation of an order of the commission implementing these requirements would be a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for specified reasons.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 8389 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

8389.
 (a) (1) The commission shall direct each electrical corporation and gas corporation to file an application for programs to provide financial assistance or rebates to owners of residential properties in fire-prone areas within the service territory of the electrical or gas corporation to install improvements to reduce or eliminate the impacts of wildfire on residential properties or to purchase emergency equipment or supplies for use in case of a deenergization event. The programs shall be funded through voluntary contributions from customers of the electrical or gas corporation. Those contributions shall not be connected to receipt of program benefits.
(2) The electrical or gas corporation shall submit the programs for approval by the commission.
(b) (1) The governing board of a local publicly owned electric or gas utility shall implement programs to provide financial assistance or rebates to owners of residential properties in fire-prone areas within the service territory of the utility to install improvements to reduce or eliminate the impacts of wildfire on residential properties or to pu incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.