Wildfire Commission finally named by governor, legislative leaders

By Michael Shaw

Capitol Update, Jan. 28, 2019

Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders announced the combined members of the Commission on Catastrophic Wildfire Cost and Recovery (Wildfire Commission) called for in SB 901 last year. The commission is responsible for preparing a report for the Legislature and Governor, “containing its assessment of the issues surrounding catastrophic wildfire costs and damages and making recommendations for changes to law that would ensure equitable distribution of costs among affected parties.”

The five-member Wildfire Commission will specifically address two policy changes that were not included in SB 901 regarding changes in the assignment of liability against a utility, known as inverse condemnation, and the creation of the special fund intended to support victims of catastrophic wildfires.

The members of the coalition are:

  • Former Assemblyman Pedro Nava, who also serves as chair of the state's Little Hoover Commission. (Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon)
  • Michael Wara, a research fellow at Stanford University's Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance. (Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins)
  • Former Insurance Commissioner and Assemblymember Dave Jones. (Governor Gavin Newsom)
  • Attorney and former chair of the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) Michael A. Kahn. (Governor Gavin Newsom)
  • Former member of the California Public Utilities Commission and California Energy Commission Carla Peterman. (Governor Gavin Newsom)

The commission will hold at least four public meetings throughout the state to hear testimony and take recommendations from the public and policy experts. Look for more information in your Capitol Update regarding the Wildfire Commission meeting dates and additional developments. 

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