Newsom signs wildfire liability legislation and hires a new utilities commission president

Gov. Gavin Newsom capped a week of break-neck legislative action in Sacramento by signing into law Friday a wildfire liability bill that significantly changes the way costs are addressed when the equipment owned by California’s state investor-owned utilities spark blazes.

The first-year governor also announced his choice for president of the California Public Utilities Commission, or CPUC, the regulatory body that oversees the big three power companies in the Golden State.

“We have a lot to be proud of in this legislation,” Newsom said at a signing ceremony in which he was accompanied by the author of Assembly Bill 1054, the directors of Cal Fire and the governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

Introduced less than one week ago as an “urgency statute” that could go into effect immediately if it passed through each house of the State Capitol with a two-thirds super-majority, AB 1054 cleared committees in the State Senate and Assembly in rapid succession before moving through the Senate 31-7 on a Monday night floor vote and 63-8 in the Assembly on Thursday morning.

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Newsom signs wildfire liability legislation and hires a new utilities commission president, by Rob Nikolewski, The San Diego Union-Tribune, July 12, 2019.

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