Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) issued the following statement after the California Legislature passed Senate Bill 901 tonight:
“In recent years, nearly every region of our state has been ravaged by wildfires. Given the frightening reality of climate change and decades of flawed forest management, we know that without hard decisions, the intensity and frequency of wildfires will only grow in the years ahead.
While I have deep reservations about some aspects of Senate Bill 901, the severity of this issue necessitates immediate action.
I voted for SB 901 tonight because it will make more likely that fire victims receive the compensation necessary to rebuild their lives, rather than be left with little or nothing. I have had real concerns that if no action is taken, ratepayers would face even larger rate increases, thousands of workers would lose their jobs, our state’s climate goals would be derailed, and Northern California’s largest utility would become financially insolvent. And this bill invests $1 billion in critical funding for forest health and fire prevention.
This is not an an issue that can be solved in a single bill in a single year. I will continue to work with my colleagues and stakeholders next year to address areas where this legislation falls short.”