The California State Senate has approved AB 72, amending the Budget Act of 2018, authorizing funds to improve emergency preparedness and restore local tax revenue lost as a result of wildfires. The measure passed unanimously and now awaits the Governor’s signature.
“California is united in support of our communities devastated by wildfires and other natural disasters,” Senate Leader Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) said. “This measure will allow us to continue the recovery process and improve our preparedness moving forward.”
AB 72 appropriates $50 million from the General Fund for an emergency preparedness campaign, including $30 million for a statewide campaign through California Volunteers within the Office of Planning and Research, and $20 million for local grants through the Office of Emergency Services.
The measure makes an initial loan of $10 million from the General Fund to the State Emergency Telephone Number Account to begin immediate upgrades to the microwave network as part of Next Gen 911 system activities.
Additionally, AB 72 authorizes $31.3 million from the General Fund to backfill property tax losses incurred as a result of wildfires, including estimated budget year losses for Butte, Lake, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Shasta and Siskiyou counties, and estimated losses in 2019-20 and 2020-21 for the counties of Butte and Lake.