California State Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara has come out in support of several items proposed in Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2023 budget plan.
“Protecting Californians in the face of climate change-intensified weather events is a top priority and I applaud Governor Newsom’s continued commitment to ensuring Californians can recover and rebuild in the weeks and months ahead,” Lara noted. “Governor Newsom’s budget plan does this by smartly investing in necessary wildfire safety, flood preparedness, and public health and safety measures to help protect Californians for the long-term and further build on the resilience of our California communities.”
Lara said that he is looking forward to continuing to work side-by-side with Newsom’s Administration as the Department of Insurance implements a new wildfire safety discount regulation and creates the nation’s first health-based extreme heat early warning system.
Commissioner Lara authored SB 30 (2018) when he was a member of the California State Senate, which established a working group of environmental advocates, researchers, and insurance experts making recommendations for policies to reduce the costs from wildfires, extreme heat, and flooding. They released the first-ever report in 2021 titled “Protecting Communities, Preserving Nature, and Building Resiliency: How First-of-Its-Kind Climate Insurance Will Help Combat the Costs of Wildfires, Extreme Heat, and Floods.”
Lara additionally announced sponsored legislation signed into law last year by Governor Newsom making California the first state to rank heat waves with an early warning system based on health impacts will help protect Californians from climate change-intensified heat-related deaths and injuries.
“As we prepare for the 50th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, our shared commitment to reproductive health will continue to make California a beacon of freedom,” Lara added. “And by continuing to expand Medi-Cal for all Californians regardless of immigration status, we are closer than ever to the dream of health care for all that so many of us worked so long to achieve.”
As a State Senator, Lara authored Health4All Kids covering all children up to age 18 and introduced the first bills to cover all older adults, regardless of immigration status.
The California Department of Insurance is the consumer protection agency for the nation’s largest insurance marketplace and safeguards all of the state’s consumers by fairly regulating the insurance industry. Under the Commissioner’s direction, the Department uses its authority to protect Californians from insurance rates that are excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, oversee insurer solvency to pay claims, set standards for agents and broker licensing, perform market conduct reviews of insurance companies, resolve consumer complaints, and investigate and prosecute insurance fraud.
Consumers are urged to call 1-800-927-4357 with any questions or contact them at www.insurance.ca.gov via webform or online chat.