California Senate Passes Controversial Wildfire Liability Bill With Bipartisan Vote

 Wednesday, July 10, 2019

 KPBS

California senators approved a proposal Monday aimed at stabilizing the state’s electric utilities and putting a renewed focus on safety in the face of devastating wildfires caused by utility equipment, with supporters calling it a plan that holds utilities accountable and protects ratepayers.

"Make no mistake — this is not a utility bailout, it’s a ratepayer bailout," said Sen. Bill Dodd, a Napa Democrat and one of the bill’s co-authors.

Lawmakers and Gov. Gavin Newsom are rushing to pass a package of wildfire bills by Friday before lawmakers take a monthlong break and as ratings agencies consider whether to further downgrade the credit ratings of the state’s investor-owned utilities.

California’s wildfire season has already begun.

The proposal now heads to the state Assembly.
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