Newsom Announces Plans to Strengthen Emergency Preparedness and Wildfire Response
On Tuesday, at a fire station in the Sierra Nevada foothills, Governor Gavin Newsom outlined $105 million in new wildfire-related spending, in addition to $200 million approved by lawmakers last year. The specific details of the plan will be included in the budget due later this week. However, Newsom has said the bulk of the money will go toward forest management and fuel reduction.
Newsom also intends to work on digitizing California’s 911 system in hopes of improving emergency communications systems. To jump-start the state's Next Generation 9-1-1 effort, he will propose spending $60 million in surplus funds over two budget years. However, it is anticipated that lawmakers will likely need to pass a consumer fee, similar to the one proposed last year by former Governor Jerry Brown, to fully modernize the system. Newsom plans to work on this issue over the next year, noting he does not think this year is the right time to be talking about a new fee. Also on Tuesday, Newsom signed executive orders designed to ensure the consideration of socioeconomic factors in risk management and the reformation of California's procurement process for fire detection technology.
For more information, please see https://www.gov.ca.gov/2019/01/08/emergency-preparedness-executive-orders/.