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AB-548 Earthquake Brace and Bolt program.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 04/04/2019 09:00 PM
AB548:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 04, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 548


Introduced by Assembly Member Rodriguez
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Nazarian)

February 13, 2019


An act to add Section 10089.396 to the Insurance Code, relating to insurance.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 548, as amended, Rodriguez. Earthquake Brace and Bolt program.
Existing law establishes the California Earthquake Authority, administered by the Insurance Commissioner, and authorizes the authority to transact insurance in this state as necessary to, among other things, create and maintain, in collaboration or jointly with subdivisions and programs of local, state, and federal governments and with other national programs, programs and activities that mitigate seismic risks, for the benefit of homeowners and other property owners. Existing law recognizes the existence of the California Residential Mitigation Program (CRMP), a joint powers authority created in 2012 by agreement between the California Earthquake Authority and the Office of Emergency Services. Existing law requires the CRMP to implement a grant program, known as the Earthquake Brace and Bolt program, to award grants to qualifying owners of single-family residential structures that meet specified requirements, including that the structures are located in high-risk earthquake areas.
This bill would require the CRMP, in administering the Earthquake Brace and Bolt program, to provide outreach to low-income households and low-income communities to increase consumer awareness of the Earthquake Brace and Bolt program and in communities where the program is offered. The bill would require the CRMP to offer opportunities for increased grants to low-income applicants. The bill would require at least ____% of the applicants initially awarded a grant pursuant to the program in each cycle to be low income, as specified. set aside at least 10% of the funds available each year for the Earthquake Brace and Bolt program to provide supplemental grants to homeowners of low-income households who were selected to receive grants pursuant to the program. Under the bill, the supplemental grant would be awarded on a first-come-first-served basis and would be in an amount as necessary to provide the homeowner with 90% percent of the retrofit costs remaining after payment of the grant awarded pursuant to the Earthquake Brace and Bolt program.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 10089.396 is added to the Insurance Code, to read:

10089.396.
 (a) In administering the Earthquake Brace and Bolt program pursuant to Section 10089.395, the California Residential Mitigation Program (CRMP) shall do both of the following:
(1) Provide outreach to low-income households to increase awareness of the Earthquake Brace and Bolt program in those communities where the program is offered.
(2) Set aside at least 10 percent of the funds available each year for the program pursuant to Section 10089.395 to provide supplemental grants to homeowners in low-income households who were selected to receive grants pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 10089.395.
(A) A homeowner in a low-income household may apply for a supplemental grant, which shall be awarded on a first-come-first-served basis until the funding set aside for supplemental grants is exhausted.
(B) The supplemental grant shall be in an amount as necessary to provide the homeowner in the low-income household with 90 percent of the retrofit costs remaining after payment of the grant awarded to that homeowner pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 10089.395.
(C) Any unexpended supplemental grant funding shall be available to provide grants to other eligible applicants on the waiting list.
(b) For purposes of this section, “low-income household” means a household that has an income at or below 80 percent of the median household income in California.

SECTION 1.Section 10089.396 is added to the Insurance Code, to read:
10089.396.

(a)For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:

(1)“Low income” means a resident of the state whose household income is less than or equal to 300 percent of the federal poverty level.

(2)“Low-income communities” has the same meaning as defined in Section 39713 of the Health and Safety Code.

(b)In administering the Earthquake Brace and Bolt program pursuant to Section 10089.395, the California Residential Mitigation Program (CRMP) shall do all of the following:

(1)Provide outreach to low-income households and low-income communities to increase consumer awareness of the Earthquake Brace and Bolt program.

(2)Offer opportunities for increased grants to low-income applicants.

(3)Prioritize low-income applicants in awarding grants, as follows:

(A)At least ____ percent of the applicants initially awarded a grant pursuant to the program in each cycle shall be low income, except that if there are not enough eligible low-income applicants to satisfy this threshold, consideration shall then be made for all other eligible applicants.

(B)If an applicant is selected to receive a grant under the program, but does not ultimately participate in the program, the CRMP may award those funds to another eligible applicant. Selection priority for those funds shall be given to low-income applicants who are on the waiting list. The waiting list is only applicable for the duration of the grant cycle. If there are no low-income applicants on the waiting list, then waiting list considerations shall be made for all other eligible applicants.