Stern and Senate Leaders Push for Wildfire Prevention Materializes

May 27, 2021

SACRAMENTO -- “We need to make a change and today is part of that change,” stated Senator Henry Stern (D-Los Angeles), the Chairman of the Senate Natural Resources & Water Committee and a member of the Senate Wildfire Working Group in a press conference to announce the Blueprint for a Fire Safe California.

The Blueprint consists of 11 Senate bills intended to train and deploy a resiliency workforce; implement modern-day vegetation, forest management, and community-hardening plans; expand consumer access to the homeowners’ insurance market; and provide short and long-term funding mechanisms. “We can’t wave the white flag on climate change and we can’t just fire-fight our way out of this mess,” continued Stern. “We have to do something different here. Hardening our communities and protecting people’s lives are essential parts of the solution.”

Stern also has two major wildfire resilience bills as part of the Blueprint. SB 63 would establish a Wildfire Resilience Corps to help train community-based fire prevention workers, expand fire-safe building standards, and implement resiliency strategies, particularly in Southern California. Another measure, SB
45 is a $5.6 billion climate resilience bond that would ask voters to double down on wildfire prevention, in addition to other climate and infrastructure investments.

“SB 63 is a crucial part of our strategy by creating a resiliency work force in our communities and encouraging volunteers and community members get engaged.” Concluded Stern. “However, beyond looking at preventing fires in existing communities, we must also look at how and where we develop in
California.”

SB 12 (McGuire-Stern) will put limitations on development unless certain hardening standards and fire prevention standards can be met. Stern also highlighted encouraging news from the Governor’s May Revise budget to fund a climate corps, which will engage young adults in California with the promise of debt free college in exchange for their climate resiliency work.

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