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SB-109 Office of Emergency Services: Office of Emergency Technology Research and Development.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 06/16/2021 09:00 PM
SB109:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  June 16, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  May 20, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 109


Introduced by Senator Dodd

January 06, 2021


An act to add and repeal Section 8586.8 to the Government Code, relating to emergency services.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 109, as amended, Dodd. Office of Emergency Services: Office of Wildfire Emergency Technology Research and Development.
Existing law, the California Emergency Services Act, establishes, within the office of the Governor, the Office of Emergency Services, under the direction of the Director of Emergency Services for the purpose of mitigating the effects of natural, manmade, or war-caused emergencies.
This bill would, until January 1, 2029, establish the Office of Wildfire Emergency Technology Research and Development within the Office of Emergency Services under the direct control of the Director of the Office of Emergency Services. The bill would make the office responsible for studying, testing, and advising regarding procurement of emerging technologies and tools in order to more effectively prevent and suppress wildfires, and serving as the central organizing hub for the state government’s identification of emerging wildfire technologies, as provided. receiving, researching, developing, testing, evaluating, and making recommendations to state and local agencies on proposals and tools to improve the state’s ability to prepare and plan for emergencies, incident response, and command and control regarding potential emergencies and threats facing the state, through specified activities, as provided. The bill would require the Office of Emergency Technology Research and Development to, to the extent necessary and reasonable, consult and coordinate with the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to forward the goals of the office, as provided.
This bill would establish the Emergency Technology Research and Development Review Advisory Board consisting of 7 specified members, including the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency, or their designee, the Director of the Office of Emergency Services, or their designee, and the Director of the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or their designee, among others. The bill would make the Office of Emergency Technology Research and Development subject to review by the board. The bill would require the board to meet at least 4 times per year, as specified. The bill would require the findings and recommendations of the board to be compiled and delivered to the office of the Governor and the Legislature no later than January, 1, 2024, and annually thereafter, as provided. The bill would require members of the board to serve without compensation, but would allow members to be reimbursed for actual expenses incurred in connection with their duties.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a)Catastrophic wildfires pose an urgent threat to lives, property, and resources in California.

(b)Seventeen of the 20 largest wildfires in California history have occurred since 2000, and six of the seven largest wildfires occurred in 2020 alone.

(c)The escalating frequency and devastation caused by wildfires demand ongoing research and development of emerging wildfire technologies and tools to prevent, monitor, identify, and suppress wildfires developed by public, private, and nonprofit entities in order to protect lives and property from the effects of wildfires.

(a) With approximately 40,000,000 residents, the State of California is the most populous state in the nation and has the third largest land area among the states (163,695 square miles).
(b) California faces arguably the most complex and severe disaster conditions in the nation that pose threats to our people, property, economy, and environment. These challenges and complexities grow in magnitude each year.
(c) In the past decade, California has experienced every conceivable type of natural and man-made disaster, including droughts, earthquakes, floods, catastrophic wildfires, mudslides, dam failures, cybersecurity attacks, oil spills, natural gas leaks, agricultural and animal disasters, civil unrest, terrorism, tsunamis, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
(d) California needs to take a proactive approach to addressing these risks, threats, and vulnerabilities to ensure the safety and prosperity of the people of the State of California.
(e) It is in the best interest of the state that our emergency preparedness and response infrastructure include and integrate the most effective and evidence-based scientific and technological perspectives and tools to address the range of threats facing California.

SEC. 2.

 Section 8586.8 is added to the Government Code, to read:

8586.8.
 (a) For purposes of this section, “office” means the Office of Wildfire Emergency Technology Research and Development.
(b) The Office of Wildfire Emergency Technology Research and Development is hereby established in state government within the Office of Emergency Services to study, receive, research, develop, test, and advise regarding procurement of emerging technologies and tools in order to more effectively prevent and suppress wildfires within the state. The office shall serve as the central organizing hub for the state government’s identification of emerging wildfire technologies. evaluate, and make recommendations to state and local agencies on proposals and tools to improve the state’s ability to prepare and plan for emergencies, incident response, and command and control regarding the numerous potential emergencies and threats facing the State of California.
(c) The office shall be under the direct control of the director.
(d) The office shall undertake, but is not limited to, the following activities:
(1) Develop a balanced, multimodal research and development program designed to identify, research, and test emerging technologies and tools designed to prevent and suppress wildfires. test, and evaluate emerging technologies and tools designed to improve the state’s preparation for, and response to, emergencies in the state, including, but not limited to, ground, aerial, mobile, portable, communication, predictive modeling, software, or stationary equipment used for California’s emergency preparedness and by first responders.
(2) Work Consult with public, private, and nonprofit entities in identifying new technologies and tools. tools, software, and other advances in emergency preparedness and response.
(3) Make recommendations to state and local agencies on the most effective and useful technologies and tools for procurement.
(e) The office shall, to the extent necessary and reasonable, consult and coordinate with the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to forward the goals of the office regarding the identification, receipt, research, testing, and evaluation of technologies and tools designed to help combat California’s wildfires, including, but not limited to: wildfire predicting, identification, mapping, projection and modelling, suppression, containment, recovering, and communication services and hardware.
(f) The office shall be subject to review by the Emergency Technology Research and Development Review Advisory Board, which shall serve in an advisory capacity, and shall consist of the following seven members:
(1) The Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency, or their designee.
(2) The Director of the Office of Emergency Services, or their designee.
(3) The Director of the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or their designee.
(4) Four members who are appointed by the Governor for a term of four years each, as follows:
(A) One representative from academia involved in the field of emergency preparedness and response.
(B) One representative from the private emergency response science, engineering, and technology industry.
(C) One representative from local government.
(D) One member of the public employed as a first responder.
(g) The board shall meet at least four times per year to review, analyze, and assess the activities and progress of the Office of Emergency Technology Research and Development, and to consult with public, private, and nonprofit entities regarding their interaction and responsiveness of the office.
(1) The findings and recommendations of the board shall be compiled and delivered to the office of the Governor and the Legislature as a report no later than January, 1, 2024, and annually thereafter.
(2) The report developed by the board pursuant to this section shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795.
(h) Members of the board shall serve without compensation, but they may be reimbursed for actual expenses incurred in connection with their duties.

(e)

(i) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2029, and as of that date is repealed.