Devastating fires are "the new normal," Gov.
Over the past two years, firestorms have claimed the lives of 57 people in
The catastrophes triggered a search for solutions within firefighting agencies, power companies, the insurance industry and the halls of local and state government.
It culminated on
"There were really things that needed to happen for the benefit of all Californians," said
"I had pretty modest expectations going into this," Wara said, noting the issues facing lawmakers were complex and the time was short, with an
But the professor was impressed with the Legislature's performance. "I'd give them an A-minus," he said.
A bipartisan response
In early July, Brown called on a bipartisan committee of lawmakers to develop proposals to strengthen disaster preparedness and respond to increasing wildfire danger. The top issue would be balancing liability for last year's wildfire damages between electric utilities and their ratepayers, recalled state Sen.
By the time the joint Senate-Assembly committee held its first public hearing on
Three weeks later, there were 15 fires burning.
"It became clear to us we really had a big job to do," said Dodd, co-chairman of the 10-member committee.
Wara, who was called as a witness at the committee's first hearing, said it was "almost a no-brainer" that
"It's such a big problem they never even thought they would conceivably have the resources to address it," Wara said.
(c)2018 The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, Calif.)
Visit The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, Calif.) at www.pressdemocrat.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.