This week, two important public safety power shutoff (PSPS) bills advanced through the legislative process. RCRC has strongly supported both Senate Bill 862 (Dodd), which the Napa County Board of Supervisors co-sponsored with Disability Rights California, and Assembly Bill 2178 (Levine).
SB 862 makes three important changes to mitigate the impacts of PSPS events on local governments and medically-sensitive residents. First, it clarifies that a state of emergency or local emergency can be declared for PSPS events. At RCRC’s suggestion, it also establishes baselines for the siting of and services provided by community resources centers during a PSPS event. Finally, it expands the universe of medically-sensitive individuals for whom electrical corporations shall develop protocols to mitigate the impacts of PSPS events. Napa County Supervisor and RCRC Board Member Diane Dillon was a key witness testifying in support of the bill in the Senate Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee, which passed it with a vote of 12-0. The bill now proceeds to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
AB 2178 similarly clarifies that PSPS events qualify as events for which a state of emergency or local emergency can be declared. This change will help ensure that local governments have greater flexibility to respond to PSPS events, seek financial assistance from the state to pay for PSPS-related expenses, and protect residents from price-gouging. RCRC testified as the principal witness in support of the bill in the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee where it passed with a vote of 20-0. It now proceeds to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.