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AB-1388 Forestry: forest health: fire prevention: grants: funding.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 03/28/2019 09:00 PM
AB1388:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 28, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1388


Introduced by Assembly Member Flora

February 22, 2019


An act to amend Section 13803 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to fire protection. An act to add Article 11 (commencing with Section 4208) to Chapter 1 of Part 2 of, and to add Article 11 (commencing with Section 4630.3) to Chapter 8 of Part 2 of, Division 4 of the Public Resources Code, relating to fire prevention, and making an appropriation therefor.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1388, as amended, Flora. Fire protection districts. Forestry: forest health: fire prevention: grants: funding.
Existing law establishes in state government the Natural Resources Agency, consisting of various departments, including the Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention. Existing law provides that the department is responsible for the fire protection, fire prevention, maintenance, and enhancement of the state’s forest, range, and brushland resources, contract fire protection, associated emergency services, and assistance in civil disasters and other nonfire emergencies.
This bill, beginning in the 2020–21 fiscal year and until the 2030–31 fiscal year, would continuously appropriate $500,000,000 from the General Fund annually to the Natural Resources Agency for healthy forest programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by uncontrolled wildfires, as specified, including for healthy forest projects in or adjacent to state responsibility areas, or on federal lands pursuant to Good Neighbor Authority agreements entered into with the federal government.
This bill would require the agency, in consultation with the department, to establish and administer the Small Landowner Vegetation Management Assistance Program for the purpose of providing grants and loans to qualified organizations, as defined, for forest health and fire prevention projects. The bill would require the agency to allocate some of the money specified above for purposes of this program.

Existing law provides the authority for the organization and powers of fire protection districts.

This bill would make nonsubstantive changes to that law.

Vote: MAJORITY2/3   Appropriation: NOYES   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Article 11 (commencing with Section 4208) is added to Chapter 1 of Part 2 of Division 4 of the Public Resources Code, to read:
Article  11. Wildfire Prevention Funding

4208.
 (a) (1) (A) Beginning in the 2020–21 fiscal year and until the 2030–31 fiscal year, and notwithstanding Section 13340 of the Government Code, the sum of five hundred million dollars ($500,000,000) is hereby continuously appropriated from the General Fund annually to the Natural Resources Agency for purposes of healthy forest programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by uncontrolled wildfires, including, but not limited to, vegetation management, forest overgrowth, and measures to ensure future wildfires are more consistent with the historic regenerative fire regime, as specified in paragraph (2).
(B) For purposes of this paragraph, “vegetation management” means, but is not limited to, mechanical thinning, prescribed fire, or the removal of materials for beneficial use on private, public, or tribal lands, and, where applicable, to implement projects pursuant to the federal “Good Neighbor Authority.”
(2) The Natural Resources Agency shall allocate the moneys specified in paragraph (1) for all of the following purposes:
(A) Healthy forest projects in or adjacent to state responsibility areas, or on federal lands pursuant to Good Neighbor Authority agreements entered into with the federal government.
(B) Local assistance grants that benefit habitable structures within or adjacent to state responsibility areas, oak woodlands, or brush-covered lands. The local assistance grants may include, but are not limited to, any of the following:
(i) Assistance to private landowners to improve forest conditions and reduce the risk of wildfire or to remove dead and dying trees that pose a significant risk to public safety and routes of ingress or egress.
(ii) Public education projects.
(iii) Community wildfire risk assessment and mitigation projects.
(C) The reduction of greenhouse gasses as part of the Small Landowner Vegetation Management Assistance Program pursuant to Section 4630.3.
(D) Grants to fire safe councils or certified local conservation corps for fire prevention projects and activities in state responsibility areas, or fire prevention projects that reduce the risk or intensity of fire on oak woodlands and brush-covered lands.
(E) Grants to qualified nonprofit organizations with a demonstrated ability to satisfactorily plan, implement, and complete a fire prevention project applicable to state responsibility areas, or fire prevention projects that reduce the risk or intensity of fire on oak woodlands and brush-covered lands.
(F) Inspections by the department and local fire departments for compliance with defensible space requirements around habitable structures in state responsibility areas, as required by Section 4291, and in very high fire hazard severity zones, as required by Chapter 6.8 (commencing with Section 51175) of Part 1 of Division 1 of Title 5 of the Government Code.
(G) (i) Public education to reduce fire risk in state responsibility areas, land in the moderate, high, or very high fire threat zones as described in the department’s Fire Hazard Severity Zone map, or in a Public Utilities Commission-designated Tier 2 or Tier 3 High Fire Threat District, and (ii)   fire severity and fire hazard mapping by the department in state responsibility areas.
(H) Financial assistance for projects that expand the state’s capacity to process materials removed during forest health projects into new products, including, but not limited to, projects that do any of the following:
(i) Expand capacity at existing wood processing facilities.
(ii) Build new wood processing facilities.
(iii) Promote the production of innovative products from biomass materials with little historic or economic value.
(iv) Retrofit existing wood product processing facilities to produce different end products with those materials.
(I) Other fire prevention projects in state responsibility areas, as authorized by the state board.
(b) Moneys allocated pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be available for encumbrance for 10 years.

SEC. 2.

 Article 11 (commencing with Section 4630.3) is added to Chapter 8 of Part 2 of Division 4 of the Public Resources Code, to read:
Article  11. Small Landowner Vegetation Management Assistance Program

4630.3.
 (a) (1) The Natural Resources Agency shall establish and administer the Small Landowner Vegetation Management Assistance Program, in consultation with the department, for the purpose of providing grants and loans to qualified organizations for forest health and fire prevention projects.
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, “qualified organization” means a local government, homeowners association, fire safe council, or other bona fide organization dedicated to fire protection and prevention, as determined by a state public lands management agency.
(b) Moneys appropriated pursuant to Section 4208 shall be available for the Small Landowner Vegetation Management Assistance Program.
(c) The Natural Resources Agency shall adopt regulations to implement the Small Landowner Vegetation Management Assistance Program.

SECTION 1.Section 13803 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:
13803.

(a)This part provides the authority for the organization and powers of fire protection districts. This part succeeds the Fire Protection District Law of 1961 and all of its statutory predecessors. A fire protection district organized or reorganized pursuant to the Fire Protection District Law of 1961 or any of its statutory predecessors that was in existence on January 1, 1988, shall remain in existence as if it had been organized pursuant to this part, except that when the district board is a county board of supervisors the number and method of selection of its board of directors shall continue to be governed by Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 13831) of the Fire Protection District Law of 1961 in effect on December 31, 1987, as if that chapter had not been repealed. A special fire protection zone formed pursuant to Chapter 12 (commencing with Section 13991) of the Fire Protection District Law of 1961 or any of its statutory predecessors that was in existence on January 1, 1988, shall remain in existence as a service zone as if it has been formed pursuant to Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 13950).

(b)This part does not apply to a reorganization that was filed pursuant to the Fire Protection District Law of 1961 and that is pending on January 1, 1988. Those pending reorganizations may be continued and completed under, and in accordance with, the Fire Protection District Law of 1961. The repeals, amendments, and additions made by the act enacting this part shall not apply to any of those pending reorganizations, and the laws existing before January 1, 1988, shall continue in full force and effect as applied to those pending reorganizations.