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News & Press: Legislative action

CESA Advocacy in action

Thursday, April 25, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Heather Dauler
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On April 23rd our State Board of Directors sent a letter to Assemblyman Kansen Chu (San Jose) conveying our support for the spirit and overall intent of his bill, AB 291: Local Emergency Preparedness and Hazard Mitigation Fund.   

This bill, which our CESA Legislative Committee has been analyzing, seeks to establish a half billion dollar Local Emergency Preparedness and Hazard Mitigation Fund (Fund) to support emergency management functions throughout local jurisdictions across the state.  The bill would also establish a Committee – comprised of a broad representation of emergency management professionals from across the state – under the Standardized Emergency Management System Advisory Board to adopt guidelines for fund eligible uses.  As written, the Fund would provide each county $500,000 on an annual basis to be distributed throughout their operational area (OA) as follows: 

  • Sixty percent to the OA lead agency and all eligible cities within the OA on a per capita basis;
  •  Fifteen percent via a competitive grant process to eligible special districts within the OA, and:
  • Twenty-five percent to an OA trust fund established for projects of common benefit to two or more eligible local governments within the OA for purposes of this article.

On April 24th, CESA President Ray Riordan testified before the California Assembly Governmental Organization Committee about the imperative to fund our local partners in the face of modern disaster threats and how these funds would take that critical step toward beginning to fundamentally change the landscape of local emergency management practices and capabilities; the bill was successfully passed out of committee.  AB 291 presents an opportunity to secure indispensable state funding for our local communities to invest toward building, and in many instances re-vitalizing, essential and successful local emergency management programs. 

As this bill remains a work in progress, our Board and our legislative committee will, working with the Office of Assemblyman Chu, continue their efforts toward refinement of the current language and provisions therein to ensure the bill’s delivery of equity, feasibility, value and success across our membership and local government partners.