The Barbed Wire - June 11, 2021

June 11, 2021
Board of Forestry Update
Bill of the Week: SB 335 (Cortese)- Workers’ Compensation Liability
EPA Announces Plans to Revise Waters of the U.S. Definition
RCRC Requests CPUC Commit to Reasonableness Reviews And Drive Utility Infrastructure Investments to Reduce PSPS Events
RCRC Member Earmarks Announced
Infrastructure Update
Metropolitan Statistical Area Designation Update
ICYMI: Hometown California – From Rural California to the State Assembly, A Conversation with Assembly Member Jim Wood

Board of Forestry Update

At the Board of Forestry meeting this week, staff announced that the June 22, 2021, regulatory hearing on its proposed Fire Safe Regulations would be held before the full board. The formal 45- day comment period on the proposal began when the rulemaking package was noticed with the Office of Administrative Law in April and will conclude at the close of the regulatory hearing on June 22nd. RCRC is urging concerned counties to submit comments to the BOF to amplify local government opposition to the proposed regulations. 

The State Fire Safe regulations set forth basic wildfire protection standards for development in the State Responsibility Area and, beginning July 1, 2021, the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones of the Local Responsibility Area.

Registration for the regulatory hearing can be found here. The full regulatory package can be accessed on the BOFs Proposed Rule Packages webpage. Please contact Tracy Rhine at for further information.

Bill of the Week: SB 335 (Cortese)- Workers’ Compensation Liability

RCRC and a coalition of private and public employers have joined together to express our opposition to SB 335, authored by Senator Dave Cortese (D-Santa Clara), which fundamentally alters longstanding rules and timeframes for determining eligibility for workers’ compensation claims and moves California outside of the mainstream when compared to other states. 

SB 335 substantially cuts the amount of time available to employers to review whether claimed workplace injuries are, in fact, related to work. For most claims, the investigation period is reduced from 90 to 45 days. For claims covered by legal presumptions, the investigation period is reduced even further to 30 days. This is fundamentally unfair to employers, who deserve a fair opportunity to complete an investigation and make a thoughtful determination about the validity of a claimed injury. There are currently no data or studies showing that the existing rules and timeframes are unfair or have created any systemic problems for injured workers. In contrast, these new deadlines will ultimately lead to additional denials because investigations cannot be completed, and questions as to compensability are likely to remain at the expiration of the statutory timeframe. 

In addition, SB 335 increases the amount of mandated employer-funded medical care that must be provided to injured workers – from $10,000 to $17,000 – during the period of time a claim is being investigated, even if the claim is ultimately denied. Further, SB 335 imposes unprecedented and unwarranted penalties on employers that would result in massive and repeated benefit expansions for workers covered by certain legal presumptions. 

SB 335 is out of touch with the policies that dictate most workers’ compensation systems in the United States. The changes are even more troubling for public agencies because they exacerbate an already costly and unworkable situation.

The coalition letter may be viewed here. For additional information, contact Sarah Dukett by email or call 916-447-4806.

EPA Announces Plans to Revise Waters of the U.S. Definition

Earlier this week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in conjunction with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, announced its intent to revise the definition of “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) that was put in place by the Navigable Waters Protection Rule during the Trump Administration in 2020. The 2020 definition was itself a revision of policy instituted during the Obama Administration in 2015, which many stakeholders including RCRC opposed as a harmful federal jurisdictional overreach on ditches, vernal pools and other bodies of water with no clear nexus to federal waters. 

EPA and the Corps stated that they would remand the provisions of the rule to pre-2015 protections while undergoing a full rulemaking process to gather public input. RCRC plans to fully engage in the rulemaking, which will be noticed in the Federal Register in the coming days. For more on the WOTUS revision, visit EPA’s website

RCRC Requests CPUC Commit to Reasonableness Reviews And Drive Utility Infrastructure Investments to Reduce PSPS Events

On Thursday, RCRC submitted comments on the third set of proposed guidelines of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for utilities to conduct proactive de-energization events, also known as Public Safety Power Shut-offs (PSPS). Notably, in a future action the CPUC will consolidate its multiple rules and guidelines into a single reference document, improving clarity for stakeholders and the public. 

RCRC was particularly concerned with the CPUC’s new posture that responsibility for ensuring that utilities reduce the need for future PSPS event should shift to the new Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety at the California Natural Resources Agency.  Also surprising was the CPUC’s public disclosure about its reticence to conduct reasonableness reviews of PSPS events out of a fear that it would inhibit utility flexibility.  RCRC and other parties pushed back hard on both fronts, arguing that the CPUC is uniquely and ideally situated to ensure that Californians have reliable access to electricity and that it must review utility actions to ensure that utilities acted reasonably in both calling and conducting PSPS events.

While these Phase 3 rules generally improve the planning, notification, and execution of PSPS events, RCRC requested several specific changes, including: 

  • Re-iterating the overarching intent to reduce PSPS over time through utility system hardening and resiliency improvements;
  • Minimizing PSPS-mitigation burdens on local governments, paratransit agencies, and community based organizations;
  • Clarifying that paratransit agencies will be reimbursed for services rendered at the request of a utility; and 
  • Including additional customer impact metrics in PSPS reports, such as the maximum length customers were left without power. 

The CPUC is expected to take action on this Proposed Decision as soon as June 24th. Click here to submit public comments. For additional information, contact John Kennedy by email or call 916-447-4806.

RCRC Member Earmarks Announced

On Monday, the Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) released an amendment in the nature of a substitute to the INVEST in America Act, a five-year, $547 billion surface transportation reauthorization bill released last week that includes selected Member Designated Projects (also known as earmarks).  Click here to view a spreadsheet of RCRC delegation member requests.

Infrastructure Update

On Tuesday, President Biden called off talks with lead Senate GOP infrastructure negotiator Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia) after multiple rounds of negotiations left the pair about $700 billion apart in proposed spending.  However, the White House quickly shifted its attention to negotiations with a bipartisan group of 20 senators (also known as the “G20”) that are attempting to broker a deal on infrastructure.  This effort is being spearheaded by Senators Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona), Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio).  The G20 has been closing in on a $900 billion infrastructure framework, but has yet to announce any details or agreement.  A major sticking point in this round remains with Republican’s unwillingness to raise taxes in any form, something both parties acknowledge will be a major hurdle in any final agreement.  This round of negotiations is expected to last around a week according to multiple Senators involved. 
Separately, while offering his support for this new round of bipartisan negotiations, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) stated his intent to begin the reconciliation process.  “We're pursuing a two-path proposal. We all know as a Caucus we will not be able to do all the things the country needs in a bipartisan way and so at the same time we are pursuing... reconciliation. We will just pursue two paths and at some point they will join.”  Additionally, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) expressed his intent to have his committee begin the reconciliation process by July.

Metropolitan Statistical Area Designation Update

On Wednesday, during a hearing before the House Budget Committee, Acting Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Shalanda Young stated that the agency has held off making a final decision on a proposed rule change to the threshold of what is considered a metropolitan statistical area (MSA).  The proposed rule change received more than 800 Federal Register comments.  In addition to Members of Congress, national groups, and local leaders also pushed back, arguing the change would scramble funding decisions for federal programs that rely on the MSA designation.  Additionally, last week, Senators Gary Peters (D-Michigan) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) introduced a bill to mandate OMB study the effects of the change along with other government agencies before moving forward.

ICYMI: Hometown California – From Rural California to the State Assembly, A Conversation with Assembly Member Jim Wood

In the latest episode of Hometown California, our host, Paul A. Smith, sits down for a conversation with California State Assembly Member Jim Wood. Learn about his path to politics-- from dentistry to the State Assembly— and how his experiences in rural California have influenced his priorities in the Legislature. Listen as Assembly Member Wood discusses healthcare, cannabis, vegetation management, wildfire, and so much more. Listen now

Need to get caught up? Find every episode of Hometown California right here.


Announcements regarding hearings, grants, and public comment notices of importance to California's rural counties.


Public Forum Announced for Southern California Edison's Electric Customers

The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) released a comprehensive update to the California Opportunity Zone site.  The new site features a multitude of funding opportunities, resources, best practices, and tools to support economic and business development in economically-distressed communities. For a list of site updates, see here.


Alpine County Seeks Assistant Auditor-Controller

The County of Alpine is seeking an Assistant Auditor-Controller.  The position is open until filled. To apply or for additional information, visit the Alpine County website here.


Forest Stewardship Workshop

The University of California Cooperative Extension is offering training opportunities to help landowners develop sustainable plans to improve and protect their forest lands.

  • Online every Tuesday, (6-7:30pm) starting June 1, 2021 through July 27, 2021, and in-person, Saturday, June 26th in Sonoma County

For more information, see here.


State Water Board Awarding O&M Grants To Disadvantaged Public Drinking Water Systems

The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) is soliciting letters of interest from public agencies, public water systems or nonprofit organizations to award a total of $27.5 million from uncommitted Proposition 68 funds for disadvantaged communities (DACs) treatment of contaminated groundwater. Specifically, operations and maintenance (O&M) costs are eligible for DAC water systems over a period of three to five years, including (but not limited to) permitting, monitoring and reporting, chemicals, and/or plant operator labor. Letters of interest are due to the SWRCB’s Division of Financial Assistance by July 12, 2021. For more information, see here.


Access the State Grants Portal for a Multitude of Funding Opportunities

Billions of dollars are up for grabs to public agencies and other entities, including tribes and businesses. Grant seekers can access a centralized portal of grant and loan opportunities here, or sign up to receive new grant opportunities delivered straight to your inbox. 


Resource pages, deadline extensions, and available programs to assist communities impacted by COVID-19.


Coronavirus Relief Available from the Small Business Administration

The federal Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering several coronavirus relief options to help alleviate the financial hardships resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19). The programs have received an overwhelming number of applications from businesses, so be sure to check the SBA website for the latest updates on the status of these programs.

  • The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides loan forgiveness for retaining employees by temporarily expanding the traditional SBA 7(a) loan program. After initial funding was quickly depleted, the program received an infusion of an additional $310 billion, allowing the SBA to resume the program on April 27, 2020. Be sure to check the SBA website for the most recent information on the application process and availability of funds.
  • The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Emergency Advance provides up to $10,000 of economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties.
  • SBA Express Bridge Loans can be used to bridge the gap for businesses while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan; small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.
  • SBA Debt Relief provides a financial reprieve to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you are interested in programs for other disasters, the SBA Disaster Loan Assistance portal is available here.


Economic Development Resources for Communities and Businesses Impacted by the Coronavirus

The California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED) has assembled resources for communities and business impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19). The page will be continually evolving as new resources become available. To go directly to the CALED resources, click here.


Use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Funds for Infectious Disease Response

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds may be used for a range of eligible activities that prevent and respond to the spread of infectious diseases such as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Check out the Quick Guide to CDBG Eligible Activities to Support Infectious Disease Response for guidance and additional information.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) County Resource Page Available

The California State Association of Counties (CSAC), RCRC’s local government partner, continues to provide excellent up-to-date state and federal information to counties on this ever-changing pandemic event.  We encourage visiting CSAC’s COVID-19 resource page, which contains vital links to all CSAC COVID-19 advocacy letters and resources.  CSAC’s staff continues to work around the clock to update activities so that all of California’s counties can remain properly informed.


Information related to the current status of legislation and regulations impacting California’s rural counties.


Assembly Bill 1 (C. Garcia): Hazardous Waste: Assembly Bill 1 establishes several new governance, policy, and fiscal reforms to improve the Department of Toxic Substances Control, including significantly increasing several fees and repealing several important local government fee exemptions. Status: AB 1 awaits consideration in the Senate Environmental Quality. RCRC Status: Concerns

Assembly Bill 9 (Wood): Fire safety: wildfires: fire adapted communities: Assembly Bill 9 seeks to codify the Regional Forest and Fire Capacity (RFFC) program, which creates a new regional approach to collaboratively planned strategies for wildfire risk reduction project development. Status: awaits consideration in the Senate Natural Resources Committee. RCRC Status: Support

Assembly Bill 246 (Quirk) Contractors: disciplinary actions. Assembly Bill 246 allows the Contractors State Licensing Board to take disciplinary actions against a contractor who violates state or local laws prohibiting illegal dumping.  Status: AB 246 awaits consideration in the Senate Appropriations Committee. RCRC Status: Support

Assembly Bill 267 (Valladeres): California Environmental Quality Act: Assembly Bill 267 extends until 2026 exemptions from the requirements of CEQA prescribed fire, thinning, or fuel reduction projects undertaken on federal lands to reduce the risk of high-severity wildfire that have been reviewed under the federal National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 that are being performed using state funds or as part of a Good Neighbor Authority agreement. Status: AB 267 awaits consideration in the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee. RCRC Status: Support

Assembly Bill 332 (ESTM): Hazardous waste: treated wood waste: Reestablishes a statutory pathway for the alternative management and disposal of treated wood waste in a landfill.  Status:  AB 332 consideration in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. RCRC Status:  Support

Assembly Bill 339 (Lee): Local government: open and public meetings. Assembly Bill 339 requires all open and public meetings to include an in-person public comment opportunity, except in specified circumstances during a declared state or local emergency. The bill would require all meetings to provide the public with an opportunity to comment on proposed legislation in person and remotely via a telephonic or an internet-based service option, as provided. Status: AB 339 awaits consideration on the Senate Floor. RCRC Status: Oppose

Assembly Bill 361 (Rivas): Open meetings: local agencies: teleconferences. Assembly Bill 361 authorizes a local agency to use teleconferencing without complying with the teleconferencing requirements imposed by the Ralph M. Brown Act when a legislative body of a local agency holds a meeting for the purpose of declaring or ratifying a local emergency. Status: AB 361 awaits consideration in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee. RCRC Status: Support

Assembly Bill 428 (Mayes):  Assembly Bill 428 requires each county to have a board of supervisors and provides for the organization and powers of the board of supervisors. Current law allows the board of supervisors of any general law or charter county to adopt or the residents of the county to propose, by initiative, limit or repeal a limit on the number of terms a member of the board of supervisors may serve on the board of supervisors. Status: AB 428 awaits consideration in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee. RCRC Status: Support

Assembly Bill 431 (Patterson): Forestry: timber harvesting plans: defensible space: exemptions: Assembly Bill 431 prohibits a person from conducting timber operations, as defined, unless a timber harvesting plan prepared by a registered professional forester has been submitted to, and approved by, the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Status: AB 431 is awaiting consideration from the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee. RCRC Status: Support

Assembly Bill 759 (McCarty): Elections: county officers: Assembly Bill 759 would require an election for all county-wide offices (sheriff, assessor, district attorney, etc.) be held at the presidential general election.  Initially, this bill only applied to the county sheriff but recent amendments expand it to all county-wide offices.  In addition, this bill would require that these officeholder elections occur at the 2024 General Election thereby requiring affected officeholders to hold a two-year term (assuming election in 2022).  Status: AB 759 awaits consideration on the Senate Floor. RCRC Status: Watch

Assembly Bill 792 (Flora): Forestry: prescribed burning agreements. Assembly Bill 792 authorizes the Director of Forestry and Fire Protection to enter into an agreement for prescribed burning or other hazardous fuel reduction for specified purposes, such as vegetation management and forest improvement. Status: AB 792 has become a 2-year bill. RCRC Status: Support

Assembly Bill 819 (Levine) California Environmental Quality Act: notices and documents: electronic filing and posting.  Requires lead agencies to post California Environmental Quality Act notices and documents on their internet websites and to submit CEQA documents to the State Clearinghouse in electronic form.  Status: AB 819 awaits consideration in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. RCRC Status: Watch

Assembly Bill 1139 (Gonzalez) Net Energy Metering.  Assembly Bill 1139 seeks to replace the existing net energy metering NEM tariff for rooftop solar with a new tariff under which utilities will pay the owners of rooftop solar far less for the energy produced by those systems.  AB 1139 seeks to address substantial cost shifting between solar and non-solar utility customers, but in doing so will substantially increase electrical bills for solar customers.  The bill also deems all rooftop solar projects to be “public works” projects for which prevailing wages must be paid.  Status: AB 1139 failed passage in the Assembly.  RCRC Status:  Watch.

Assembly Bill 1201 (Ting) Solid waste: plastic products: labeling: composability and biodegradability. Authorizes CalRecycle to adopt regulations for plastic product labeling to ensure that plastic products labeled as compostable or home compostable are clearly distinguishable from no compostable products.  Prohibits the sale of a plastic product labeled as compostable, home compostable, or soil biodegradable unless the product meets specified standards.  Status: AB 1201 awaits consideration by the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. RCRC Status: Watch

Assembly Bill 1311 (Wood) Recycling: beverage containers: certified recycling centers. Makes modest changes to the Beverage Container Recycling Act to increase consumer access to redemption opportunities. Status: AB 1311 awaits consideration in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. RCRC Status: Support

Assembly Bill 1344 (Arambula) State Department of Public Health: Needle and Syringe Exchange Services.  Exempts needle and syringe exchanges services from the California Environmental Quality Act.  Status: AB 1344 awaits consideration in the Senate Health Committee. RCRC Status: Neutral 

Assembly Bill 1403 (Levine) Emergency Services. Assembly Bill 1403 clarifies that deenergization events (also known as PSPS events) qualify as events for which a state of emergency can be declared by the Governor under the California Emergency Services Act, but not for a local emergency declared by a local government.. Status: AB 1403 awaits consideration in the Senate Appropriations Committee. RCRC Status: Oppose unless Amended

Assembly Bill 1431 (Fraizer): Forestry: forest carbon plan: state goals: Assembly Bill 1431 codifies various portions of the 2018 California Forest Carbon Plan, and requires the Natural Resources Agency and the California Environmental Protection Agency, on or before January 1, 2023, to submit a report to the appropriate policy and budget committees of the Legislature on the positions and resources needed to achieve those state goals. Status: AB 1431 awaits consideration in the Senate Natural Resources & Water Committee. RCRC Status: RCRC Sponsored Bill

Assembly Bill 1454 (Bloom) Beverage Container and Litter Reduction Act.  Assembly Bill 1454 makes several changes to the Beverage Container Recycling Program, including creation of a new $25,000 startup loan for the creation of new recycling centers in unserved or underserved areas.  Status: AB 1454 awaits referral by the Senate Rules Committee.  RCRC Status: Support

Assembly Bill 1458 (Fraizer): Fish and wildlife protection and conservation: lake and streambed alteration agreements: Assembly Bill 1458 exempts vegetation management or fuels treatment projects undertaken, carried out, or approved by a state or local governmental agency necessary to prevent or mitigate the threat or intensity of a wildfire from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Lake and Streambed Alteration agreement requirements.  Status: AB 1458 is a two-year bill. RCRC Status: RCRC Sponsored Bill

Senate Bill 11 (Rubio): The California FAIR Plan Association: basic property insurance: Senate Bill 11, which would remove certain barriers to enable homes and structures used to conduct business on farmland to be covered through the California Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) Plan.  Status: SB 11 awaits consideration in the Assembly Insurance Committee. RCRC Status: Support

Senate Bill 37 (Cortese) California Environmental Quality Act Exemption.  Senate Bill 37 eliminates the ability to use a “common sense exemption” under the California Environmental Quality Act for any projects undertaken at over 40,000 sites throughout the state that appear on the Cortese List of currently or formerly contaminated properties.  The bill will require discretionary projects with no environmental impact at those locations (including many local corp yards, fire stations, airports, etc.) to undergo an initial assessment and prepare a negative declaration.  Status:  SB 37 awaits consideration in the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials and Natural Resources Committee.  RCRC Status:  Oppose.

Senate Bill 38 (Wieckowski): Beverage Containers. Replaces the existing Beverage Container Recycling Program (Bottle Bill) with a new recycling program administered by beverage container manufacturers and increases the CRV from $0.05 to $0.10 per container if the state fails to achieve specified recycling rates.  Repeals the $10.5 million annually set aside for payments to cities and counties to address recycling and litter. Status: SB 38 awaits consideration in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. RCRC Status: Oppose Unless Amended

Senate Bill 52 (Dodd): State of Emergency: Power Outages. Senate Bill 52 clarifies that deenergization events (also known as PSPS events) qualify as events for which a local emergency can be declared under the California Emergency Services Act. Status: SB 52 awaits consideration in the Assembly Emergency Management Committee. RCRC Status: Support

Senate Bill 99 (Dodd): Community Energy Resilience Act of 2021. Senate Bill 99 requires the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission to develop and implement a grant program for local governments to develop community energy resilience plans. Status: SB 99 awaits consideration in the Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee.  RCRC Status: Support

Senate Bill 207 (Dahle): Photovoltaic Recycling Advisory Group: Senate Bill 207 seeks to spur the recycling and reuse of solar photovoltaic panels by requiring an advisory group to make recommendations to ensure that, to the extent possible, all solar photovoltaic panels in the state are reused or recycled at the end of their lives in a safe and cost-effective manner. Status: SB 207 awaits consideration in the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee. RCRC Status:  Support

Senate Bill 208 (Dahle):Sierra Nevada Conservancy: Sierra Nevada Region: subregion:  Senate Bill 208 requires the Sierra Nevada Conservancy to make an annual report to the Legislature and to the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency regarding expenditures, land management costs, and administrative costs. This bill would modify areas listed under the definitions of the “Sierra Nevada Region” and its “subregions,” as specified, for these purposes. Status: SB 208 awaits consideration on the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. RCRC Status: Support

Senate Bill 219 (McGuire): Property Tax Payments: Shelter-in-Place Order. Senate Bill 219 codifies a county tax collector’s ability to cancel late payment penalties for taxpayers who have experienced financial hardship due to shelter-in-place orders. Status: SB 219 secured passage in the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee. RCRC Status: Support

Senate Bill 244 (Archuleta): Lithium-ion batteries: illegal disposal: fire prevention: Senate Bill 244 seeks to prevent lithium-ion battery fires by requiring the state to develop training and best practices for the detection, safe handling, and suppression of fires that originate from discarded lithium-ion batteries in solid waste collection vehicles, transfer and processing stations, and disposal facilities.  Status: SB 244 awaits consideration on the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee. RCRC Status: Support

Senate Bill 264 (Min): Firearms: state and county property: Senate Bill 264 prohibits the sale of firearms and firearm components on state property, most notably District Agriculture Associations-operated fairs.  Status: SB 264 awaits consideration on the Assembly Public Safety Committee.  RCRC Status: Oppose

Senate Bill 286 (Min): County Officer Elections Top-Two Advance. Senate Bill 286 would require the top-two vote-getters seeking election to a county office to face-off in a General Election.  Status: SB 286 is now a two-year bill.  RCRC Status: Oppose

Senate Bill 341 (McGuire) Makes several changes to increase oversight and accountability of telecommunications service outages. Status: SB 341 awaits consideration in the Assembly Communications and Conveyance Committee. RCRC Status: Support 

Senate Bill 456 (Laird) Fire prevention: forest health: action plan: reports. Senate Bill 456 requires the department to be responsible for, among other things, fire protection and prevention, as provided. The former Governor, Edmund G. Brown Jr., issued an executive order relating to, among other subjects, the streamlining of permitting for landowner-initiated projects for the improvement of forest health and the reduction of forest fire fuels on their properties. Status: SB 456 awaits consideration on the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. RCRC Status: Support 

Senate Bill 462 (Borgeas): Disaster relief: Creek Fire: allocation to local agencies: Senate Bill 462, which would add the Creek Fire of 2020 in Madera County and Fresno County to the emergencies eligible for the state to pay up to 100 percent of the costs out of the California Disaster Assistance Act (CDAA) fund. Status: SB 462 was held in the Senate Appropriations Committee (Suspense File). RCRC Status: Support

Senate Bill 533 (Stern) Electrical corporations: wildfire mitigation plans: deenergization events: microgrids. Requires utilities to discuss in their Wildfire Mitigation Plans efforts to improve their electrical systems, focused on those areas and assets that have been deenergized the greatest number of times.   Status: SB 533 awaits consideration in the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee. RCRC Status: Support

Senate Bill 592 (Dahle) Fish and wildlife: working group: catastrophic wildfires: Senate Bill 592 require the Director of Fish and Wildlife to establish a working group, composed of the director or the director’s representative, the Director of Forestry and Fire Protection or their representative, and a county government representative from each county impacted by any catastrophic wildfire being studied by the workgroup, as described below. Status: SB 592 is now a two-year bill.   RCRC Status: Support

Senate Bill 619 (Laird) Organic waste: reduction regulations. Will seek to provide local governments with additional flexibility to achieve the state’s organic waste recycling requirements.  Status: SB 619 awaits referral by the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. RCRC Status: Support

Senate Bill 709 (Dahle) Senate Bill 709 eliminates extensions for timber harvesting plans approved by the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection from January 1, 2010, to August 31, 2012, inclusive, and instead allow for a timber harvesting plan that is approved by the department from January 1, 2014, to December 31, 2015, inclusive, to be extended for an additional 2 years if certain conditions are met. The bill would make other no substantive changes to these provisions. Status: SB 709 awaits consideration in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.  RCRC Status: Support