The Barbed Wire - April 13, 2018

April 13, 2018
RCRC Joins Coalition to Modernize California’s Mutual Aid System
RCRC Attends NACo Farm Bill Summit
2018 Farm Bill Released
Speaker Ryan Announces Retirement
Metropolitan Water District Board Votes to Fund Twin Tunnels
Bill of the Week: Assembly Bill 2126 (Eggman) – SUPPORT
BULLETIN BOARD
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

RCRC Joins Coalition to Modernize California’s Mutual Aid System

Late last week, RCRC joined the Disaster Readiness for Safer Communities (D-RiSC) coalition.  D-RiSC is a statewide coalition of organizations representing California’s fire chiefs, firefighters and local governments committed to improving our disaster response capability.  

Mega fires, mudslides and other extreme weather disasters are California’s “new normal.”  In the past six months, California experienced the most destructive fires and deadliest mudslides in our history. Our fire season is now year-round. Wildfires burn faster, larger and longer than ever. In the past 10 years alone, we have seen the state’s worst drought and heaviest recorded rainfall.

California relies on a 68-year old disaster response network known as the Mutual Aid System.  It allows local governments to share disaster response resources during large-scale emergencies.  But it is a “reactive” system, designed to send resources within 12-24 hours.  We don’t need a new Mutual Aid System. Rather, it needs to be modernized to be more proactive to combat the intensity and severity of the conditions we are facing today.

Waiting for a disaster to strike is no longer an acceptable strategy.  We can save lives and protect communities by pre-positioning firefighters and equipment in areas where high risks are predicted.

We have to increase the pace and scale of our disaster response.  Putting first responders and equipment in a position to quickly address these climate-driven emergencies before extreme weather events — a strategy called pre-positioning — has proven to be effective at reducing loss of lives and property.  D-RiSC is asking the state to appropriate $100 million in FY 2018-19 to reimburse local fire agencies for their costs to staff up and pre-position resources.

The coalition includes California Fire Chiefs Association, California Professional Firefighters, California State Firefighters Association, Fire Districts Association of California, FIRESCOPE, League of California Cities and Metropolitan Fire Chiefs of California, among others. 

Detailed information on D-RiSC can be accessed here.

RCRC Attends NACo Farm Bill Summit

In anticipation of Congressional action on the 2018 Farm Bill, the National Association of Counties (NACo) sponsored a summit for rural and urban county representatives and others to examine key county priorities through the lens of one representative U.S. county: Palm Beach County, Florida.  The summit, attended by RCRC Senior Legislative Advocate Mary-Ann Warmerdam, was a combination of educational tours, workshops and panel discussions – all geared towards examining how the Farm Bill touches many facets of American life, including conservation, trade, jobs, infrastructure, research and nutrition.  

The summit was broken into two main segments: mobile workshops and issue dialogues led off by panel presentations.

  • Mobile Workshops

A series of site visits/workshops presented various “beneficiaries” of past Farm Bill provisions, including commodity price stabilization (Glades Sugar House: Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida Mill); water infrastructure development through the Rural Development Title (Glades Lake Region Water Treatment Plant); implementation of conservation programs under the Conservation Title to assist in meeting water quality goals (Florida Crystals Rice Mill); and the role of the food supply chain in the rural economic development, also under the Rural Development Title (TKM Packinghouse).

  • Panel Discussions and Dialogue

The Farm Bill’s Conservation and Supplemental Nutritional Assistance (SNAP) titles importance to rural and urban counties were part of a dialogue set up by panel presentations from a variety of speakers with experience in each of these areas.  All three panel presentations also described their experience in integrating federal, state and local efforts to meet needs in their community’s.

The summit was timely in that it was announced by U.S. Representative Ted Yoho (R-Florida), a member of the House Committee on Agriculture (Committee), that Committee mark-up is tentatively scheduled for April 18, 2018.  The summit was also attended by commissioners/supervisors from both urban and rural counties throughout the nation, as well as several state associations; however, RCRC was the only state organization in attendance from California, giving RCRC a unique opportunity to engage on the issues that affect rural counties in the state.

Detailed information on the 2018 Farm Bill from NACo can be accessed here.

2018 Farm Bill Released

Late this week, House Agriculture Committee (Committee) Chairman Mike Conaway (R-Texas) released H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, commonly referred to as the 2018 Farm Bill.  The Committee is tentatively scheduled to markup the bill on April 18, 2018, which will be hotly contested along party lines.  

The bill is not supported by Democrats on the Agriculture Committee who criticize Republicans for shifting funding from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to work training and placement programs.  The Agriculture and Nutrition Act is expected to also face strong opposition from Freedom Caucus Republicans  The Agriculture Committee historically relies on bipartisan support to pass the Farm Bill, but negotiations fell apart between Chairman Conaway and Ranking Member Colin Peterson (D-Minnesota) in March over changes to SNAP.

Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) continue to draft their chamber’s version of a 2018 Farm Bill behind closed doors.  Farm Bill legislation will need 60 votes in the Senate, and Chairman Conaway’s bill, as currently crafted, is unlikely to secure the necessary votes.  Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow hope to unveil their version of the bill next month.  Current Farm Bill programs expire on September 30, 2018, but Congress is expected to pass an extension before the deadline to ensure farms and rural communities continue to receive federal funding.

The partisan fight over SNAP funding will overshadow changes to other titles proposed under H.R. 2.  The bill includes language to expand broadband deployment and infrastructure in rural areas, streamline environmental regulatory burdens, and provide financial aid for farmers.  H.R. 2 amends the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 and the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to create new grant programs that will finance broadband deployment projects for hard to reach rural communities.  The text empowers the Secretary of Agriculture to implement a mandatory standard of broadband service for projects funded by Farm Bill programs.

The Agriculture and Nutrition Act includes language that seeks to facilitate forest management and improve commercial infrastructure on federal forest land.  The bill amends the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 to require 50 percent of Title II funds be spent on activities pertaining to forest management and the sale of forest products.  In addition, H.R. 2 reforms environmental law to ease the burden of regulation on forest management activities within federal land.  The Agriculture and Nutrition Act streamlines the consultation process required by the Endangered Species Act, creates multiple categorical exclusions for foresters from existing environmental law, and includes several amendments to the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 promoting forest management activities within federal forests.  The regulatory streamlining and categorical exclusions are designed to save time and cut legal costs for the U.S. Forest Service and increase forest management activities that reduce the risk of wildfires in federal forest land.

The Forestry Title of the Agriculture and Nutrition Act includes a California-specific provision authorizing foreign sales of California timber.  The language directs the Secretary of Agriculture to designate processed timber of dead and dying trees in California as surplus to domestic timber supplies and therefore exempt from export prohibitions.  The authorized regulations will remain in effect for 10 years and the Secretary will be required to consult with California sawmills to avoid adverse effects to industry.

RCRC’s Officers and staff met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill in the months leading up to the 2018 Farm Bill’s introduction to ensure the priorities of rural California are met in the final text.  Now that negotiations are underway, RCRC’s federal advocacy partners will continue to engage with lawmakers to bring RCRC’s unique perspective on the issues rural counties face.  RCRC will continue to work with policymakers, stakeholders, and our member counties to ensure Congress passes a 2018 Farm Bill with commonsense proposals for developing rural California’s economy and strengthening its communities. 

Speaker Ryan Announces Retirement

On Wednesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) announced that he will not seek re-election in November 2018.  Speaker Ryan’s announcement comes seven months before the midterm elections, and the fight over his replacement will coincide with Republicans’ effort to keep the House majority.  

Speaker Ryan’s departure will hurt the party’s effort to hold the House but it will help McConnell’s cause in the Senate which is now considered “the last bastion” for Republican power in Congress.

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Kern) and Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana) have been angling for Speaker Ryan’s job behind the scene for months, and the deciding factor could be President Trump’s endorsement.  Representative McCarthy is close with the President and is more likely to receive his formal support, which would lock-down McCarthy’s support from the conservative wing of the House Republican Conference.  Representative McCarthy suddenly dropped a bid to replace former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) in 2015, but he’s already begun to shore up support with conservatives and President Trump in preparation for his next attempt to secure the job.

Metropolitan Water District Board Votes to Fund Twin Tunnels

On Tuesday, The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) Board of Directors voted to fund a majority (two-thirds) of the controversial “Twin Tunnels” infrastructure project that seeks to deliver water from the Sacramento and San Joaquin Delta to Southern California.  

A top priority of the Brown Administration, also known as the California WaterFix, the proposal has faced much opposition, and original funding for the project fell apart last year when agricultural districts in the San Joaquin Valley backed out.

While RCRC does not have a formal position on California WaterFix, given the switchyard role the Delta plays in the state’s water infrastructure, we have monitored the discussions, particularly to ensure water rights remain intact.

Detailed information on the California WaterFix can be accessed here.

Bill of the Week: Assembly Bill 2126 (Eggman) – SUPPORT

RCRC lent its support to Assembly Member Susan Talamantes Eggman’s (D-Stockton) Assembly Bill 2126 related to the creation of a forestry corps program within the California Conservation Corps (CCC).  This program will provide another mechanism for the state to address the myriad issues surrounding California’s forest health.  

RCRC member counties contain much of California’s forested lands, including more than 70 percent of the state’s national forest lands.  Wildfire risk is no longer just a concern in remote, rural areas, but is becoming a wider public safety concern as the wildland urban interface spreads over larger areas of the state due to climate change and the lingering impacts of the recent five-year drought.  Despite the coordinated efforts between the state and local governments to mitigate the impacts of wildlife, much work needs to be done throughout the state to bring our forest lands to a healthy, resilient, wildfire-resistant condition.

AB 2126 helps address wildfire, tree mortality, and forest management issues statewide by creating a forestry corps program within the CCC to develop and implement forest health projects, including fuels reduction and hazardous fuels removal, tree mortality and tree felling, and forest restoration programs.

Ms. Heaton’s support letter can be accessed here.  Ms. Heaton can be reached at (916) 447-4806 or sheaton@rcrcnet.org.

BULLETIN BOARD

Announcements regarding hearings, grants, and public comment notices of importance to California's rural counties.

Rural Business Development Grants (RBDG)

Support for targeted technical assistance, training and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging private businesses in rural areas.

Click here

Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Loans & Grants

Guaranteed loans or grants to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses purchase or install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements.

Click here

Community Connect Grants

Help eligible service provides construct, improve or expand broadband networks in rural areas.

Click here

Distance Learning & Telemedicine Grants (DLT)

Help communities acquire the technology and training necessary to connect educational and medical professionals with the teachers and medical providers who serve rural residents at the local level. Note: Priority is given to projects addressing opioid prevention/treatment/recovery.

Click here

Community Facilities Grant Program

Help develop essential community facilities in rural areas. Note: A $5 million reserve is available for eligible and innovative projects that best address the opioid crisis in rural America. The maximum grant award for reserve projects is $150,000.

Click here

DWR Hosts Sustainable Groundwater Management Act Assistance Workshops

Click here

Border Coast Regional Airport Authority (Del Norte County) Seeks Director

Click here

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

RCRC members are encouraged to share letters addressed to state and federal representatives and regulatory bodies with RCRC’s Government Affairs staff.  

Assembly Bill 924 (Bonta): Indian Tribes: Commercial Cannabis Activity.  Assembly Bill 924 would authorize the Governor to enter into agreements concerning cannabis activities on lands of federally-recognized sovereign Indian tribes. Status: AB 924 awaits consideration in the Senate Business, Professions & Economic Development Committee.  RCRC Position: Oppose

Assembly Bill 1250 (Jones-Sawyer): Counties and Cities: Personal Contract Services.  Assembly Bill 1250 would establish specific standards for the use of personal services contracts by counties. Status: AB 1250 awaits consideration in the Senate Rules Committee. RCRC Position: Oppose

Assembly Bill 1667 (Friedman): Agricultural Water Management. Assembly Bill 1667 would make permanent agricultural water conservation criteria established as part of the Governor’s response to the drought. Status: AB 1667 awaits consideration in the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee. RCRC Status: Oppose

Assembly Bill 1772 (Aguiar-Curry): Fire Insurance Indemnity. Assembly Bill 1772 would extend the minimum limit during which an insured may collect the full replacement cost of a loss relating to a state of emergency to 36 months. Status:  AB 1722 awaits consideration in the Assembly Insurance Committee. RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 1800 (Levine): Fire Insurance. Assembly Bill 1800 relates to existing law which prohibits a fire insurance policy from limiting or denying payment of the replacement cost of property in the event the insured decides to rebuild or replace the property at a location other than the insured premises. Qualifies that prohibition by making it applicable in addition to any extended replacement cost coverage purchased by the insured and in addition to any increase in policy limits. Status: AB 1800 awaits consideration in the Assembly Insurance Committee. RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 1875 (Wood): Residential Property Insurance.  Assembly Bill 1875 would require an insurer to offer extended replacement cost coverage when issuing or renewing a policy of residential property insurance, and requires the insurer to disclose the premium costs for extended replacement cost coverage. Status: AB 1875 awaits consideration in the Assembly Insurance Committee. RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 1919 (Wood): Price Gouging: State of Emergency. Assembly Bill 1919 would make it a misdemeanor, upon proclamation or declaration of an emergency to increase the monthly rental price advertised, offered or charged for residential housing to an existing or prospective tenant by more than a specified percentage or greater than the rental price advertised, offered, or charged within 30 days immediately prior to the date of the proclamation or disaster. Status: AB 1919 awaits consideration in the Assembly Public Safety Committee.  RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 1954 (Patterson): Timber Harvest Plans: Exemption: Flammable Materials. Assembly Bill 1954 would delete the inoperative date of an exemption from some or all provisions of the Forest Practices Act of 1973 concerning a person engaged in defensible pace activities. Status: AB 1954 awaits consideration in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 2050 (Caballero): Small System Water Authority Act of 2018.  Assembly Bill 2050 would create the Small System Water Authority Act of 2018 and state legislative findings and declarations relating to authorizing the creation of small system water authorities that will have powers to absorb, improve, and competently operate noncompliant public water systems. Defines various terms and requires a change in organization to be carried out as set forth in the Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Local Government Reorganization Act of 2000. Status: AB 2050 awaits consideration in the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee.  RCRC Position: Pending

Assembly Bill 2069 (Bonta): Medical Cannabis: Employment Discrimination. Assembly Bill 2069 would provide worker protections to patients using medical cannabis outside of the workplace and not during work hours. Exempts employers whose workers are in safety sensitive positions subject to federal drug testing mandates. Status: AB 2069 awaits consideration in the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee. RCRC Position: Oppose

Assembly Bill 2166 (Caballero): California Farm Bill: agricultural technology. Assembly Bill 2166 would require the Department of Food and Agriculture to create a user-friendly navigational link on its Internet Web site that provides farmers and other members of the agricultural industry comprehensive information about regulatory requirements of, and guidance to, operating and managing a farm. Status:  AB 2166 awaits consideration in the Assembly Agriculture Committee. RCRC Status:  Watch

Assembly Bill 2348 (Aguiar-Curry): Winter-Flooded Rice: Incentives. Assembly Bill 2348 would declare the intent of the Legislature to enact subsequent legislation that would provide an incentive to farmers to maintain winter-flooded rice. Status:  AB 2348 awaits consideration in the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee. RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 2411 (McCarty): State Agency Buy Recycled Campaign: Compost. Assembly Bill 2411 would declare the intent of the Legislature that the state pursues all feasible measures to improve markets for recycled products. Requires each state agency to ensure that, on and after a specified date, at least a specified percentage of reportable purchases of soil or similar products are compost, as described. Status: AB 2411 awaits consideration in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. RCRC Status: Support

Assembly Bill 2493 (Bloom): Beverage Containers: Convenience Zones and Handling Fee. Assembly Bill 2493 would amend the Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act. Requires the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery to redefine convenience zone. Provides that recycling centers that received a handling fee immediately before the adoption of such regulations would remain eligible to receive handling fee payments, under certain conditions. Status:  AB 2493 awaits consideration in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. RCRC Position: Watch

Assembly Bill 2501 (Chu): Drinking Water: Consolidation and Extension of Service.  AB 2501 would redefine small public water system for purposes of the California Safe Drinking Water Act as a system with 200 connections or less. Authorizes the State Water Resources Control Board to order consolidation with a receiving water system where a disadvantaged community is reliant on a state small water system, an individual well, or an unregulated water system serving fewer than five connections. Status: AB 2501 awaits consideration in the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee. RCRC Position: Pending

Assembly Bill 2518 (Aguiar-Curry): Innovative Forest Products and Mass Timber. Assembly Bill 2518 would require the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, in collaboration with the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection, to explore markets, including export markets, for milling, development, and expansion of innovative forest products and mass timber, that require consistence with the state's climate objectives on forest lands. Status: AB 2518 awaits consideration in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 2594 (Friedman): Fire Insurance. Assembly Bill 2594 would revise the standard forms of policy and extend the period in which to bring suit to 24 months after the inception of the loss if the loss is related to a state of emergency, as specified. Status: AB 2594 awaits consideration in the Assembly Insurance Committee. RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 2645 (Patterson): Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund: Forestry and Fire. Assembly Bill 2645 would appropriate a specified amount from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund annually to the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection for purposes of fire prevention activities that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Status: AB 2645 awaits consideration in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 2649 (Arambula): Groundwater Recharge. AB 2649 would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to increase groundwater recharge. Status: AB 2649 awaits consideration in the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee. RCRC Position: Pending

Assembly Bill 2672 (Patterson): California Global Warming Solutions Act. Assembly Bill 2672 would require the State Board in consultation with the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to annually submit a specified report to the legislature that includes among other things, an estimate of the annual emissions of greenhouse gases associated with wildfires in the state that have burned 10000 acres or more and a direct comparison of that estimate to the emissions of greenhouse gases offset by the state board's applicable regulatory programs. Status:  AB 2672 awaits consideration in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee.  RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 2717 (Lackey): Cannabis: Local Control: City Responsibility for County. Assembly Bill 2717 would require a city to assume from the county complete responsibility for any regulatory function relating to licensees located within the jurisdictional boundaries of the city. Status:  AB 2717 awaits consideration in the Assembly Business and Professions Committee. RCRC Position: Support/Sponsor

Assembly Bill 2727 (Flora): Personal Income Taxes: Volunteer Firefighters. Assembly Bill 2727 would authorize a tax credit for costs incurred by a qualified firefighter during the taxable year for firefighter expenses. Status: AB 2727 awaits consideration in the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee. RCRC Position: Support/Sponsor

Assembly Bill 2842 (Bigelow): Wood Products. Assembly Bill 2842 would require the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development to work with state academic institutions and certification organizations to perform additional product testing that accelerates the development, use, or commercialization of new wood products, as provided. Requires the commission to work with local planning offices, developers, and architects to consider the feasibility of expanding the use of wood and mass timber in California buildings. Status: AB 2842 awaits consideration in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 2966 (Aguiar-Curry): Disaster Relief. Assembly Bill 2966 would provide that the state share for the removal of dead and dying trees in connection with the Governor’s proclamation of a state emergency issued on a specific date is no more than 90 percent of total state eligible costs. Status: AB 2966 awaits consideration in the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee. RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 2975 (Friedman): Wild Scenic Rivers. Assembly Bill 2975 would take action to remove or delist any river or segment of a river in California that is included in the national wild and scenic rivers system and not in the state wild and scenic rivers system, requires the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency, after holding a public hearing on the issue, to take any necessary action to add the river or segment of a river to the state wild and scenic rivers system and to classify that river or segment of a river. Status: AB 2975 awaits consideration in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. RCRC Position: Pending

Assembly Bill 3036 (Cooley): Solid Waste: Definition. Assembly Bill 3036 would exclude from the State Integrated Waste Management Act's definition of solid waste byproducts from processing food, if those byproducts meet certain conditions, including, among others, that the byproducts are intended for use as animal feed. Status: AB 3036 awaits consideration in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. RCRC Position: Pending

Assembly Bill 3112 (Grayson): Controlled Substances: Butane.  Assembly Bill 3112 would impose restrictions on the sale of butane.  Status: AB 3112 awaits consideration in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.  RCRC Position: Support

Assembly Bill 3178 (Rubio): Integrated Waste Management Plans: Source Reduction. Assembly Bill 3178 would amend the Integrated Waste Management Act. Makes findings that the storage of recyclable materials in amounts that exceed the design capacity or permitted capacity of a solid waste facility can pose a threat to public health and safety. Requires the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery to consider whether the absence or loss of a market for recyclable materials necessitated the disposal of those materials as a temporary measure to avoid a public health threat. Status: AB 3178 awaits consideration in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. RCRC Position: Support

Senate Bill 452 (Glazer): Emergency Services: State of Emergency. Assembly Bill 452 would require the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery to grant a convenience zone an exemption from the redemption requirements, if there is a certified recycling center within a certain distance of an unserved zone. Increases the total number of exemptions that may be granted. Establishes the Beverage Container Recycling Fund to pay handling fees to certain recyclers to provide an incentive for the redemption of empty beverage containers in these zones. Status:  SB 452 awaits consideration in the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee. RCRC Position: Pending

Senate Bill 623 (Monning): Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund.  Senate Bill 623 would establish the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund.  SB 623 would provide grants, loans, or services to assist those without access to safe and affordable drinking water. Status: SB 623 awaits consideration in the Assembly Rules Committee.  RCRC Position: Support

Senate Bill 824 (Lara): Insurance: Nonrenewal.  Senate Bill 824 would express the intent of the Legislature to clarify that the provisions described concerning cancellation of structural insurance policies is applicable to all insured properties located within a county for which a state of emergency has been declared. SB 824 prohibits nonrenewal of the policies under specified circumstances. Status: SB 824 awaits consideration in the Senate Insurance Committee.  RCRC Position: Support

Senate Bill 894 (Dodd): Property Insurance. Senate Bill 894 would require an insurer, in the case of a total loss to the primary insured structure under a policy of residential property insurance, to offer to renew the policy. Increases the minimum coverage for additional living expenses in the case of a loss related to a declared state of emergency. Requires an insurer who decides not to offer to renew a policy after the expiration of that period to report the decision to not offer to renew the policy to the Insurance Commissioner. Status: SB 894 awaits consideration in the Senate Insurance Committee. RCRC Position: Support

Senate Bill 897 (McGuire): Residential Property Insurance: Wildfires. Senate Bill 897 would specify that additional living expense coverage under a residential insurance policy shall include all reasonable expenses incurred by the insured in order to maintain a comparable standard of living and would provide a list of expenses that shall be covered. Authorizes an insured to collect, in lieu of additional living expenses, the fair rental value of the dwelling that has suffered a loss. Status: SB 897 awaits consideration in the Senate Insurance Committee. RCRC Position: Support

Senate Bill 917 (Jackson): Insurance Policies. Senate Bill 917 would provide that insurance policies that do not cover the peril of landslide shall not exclude coverage for any loss or damage attributable to a landslide if the landslide resulting in loss or damage was proximately caused by another covered peril, as provided.  Status: SB 917 awaits consideration in the Senate Insurance Committee. RCRC Position: Support

Senate Bill 919 (Dodd): Water Resources: Stream Gages. Senate Bill 919 would require the Department of Water Resources to develop a plan to deploy a network of stream gages that includes a determination of funding needs and opportunities for reactivating existing gages. Requires the Department to prioritize the deployment of stream gages based upon gaps in the existing system of gages and specified considerations. Status: SB 919 awaits action in the Senate Appropriations Committee.  RCRC Position: Support

Senate Bill 998 (Dodd): Water Shutoffs: Urban and Community Water Systems. Senate Bill 998 would require an urban and community water system as a public water system that supplies water to more than 200 service connections, to have a written policy on residential service shutoff available in specified languages of the people residing in its service area. Requires certain aspect to be available on its system web site and be provided annually to customers in writing. Status: Senate Bill 998 awaits consideration in the Senate Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee. RCRC Position: Concerns

Senate Bill 1079 (Monning): Forest Resources: Fire Prevention Grant Fees. Senate Bill 1079 would relate to existing laws authorizing the Director of Forestry and Fire Protection to provide grants to entities, including, but not limited to, private or nongovernmental entities, Native American tribes, or local, state, and federal public agencies, for the implementation and administration of projects and programs to improve forest health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Authorizes the Director to authorize advance payments to a nonprofit organization, a special district, or a Native American tribe. Status: SB 1079 awaits consideration in the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee. RCRC Position: Support If Amended

Senate Bill 1215 (Hertzberg): Drinking Water Systems and Sewer Systems: Consolidation. Senate Bill 1215 would authorize the State Water Resources Control Board to set timeline and performance measures to facilitate completion of extension of service of drinking water under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Authorizes ordered consolidation with a receiving sewer system for, or extension of sewer service to, a disadvantaged community under specified circumstances. Status: SB 1215 awaits consideration in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. RCRC Position: Watch

Senate Bill 1222 (Stone): Use of Vacuum or Suction Dredge Equipment. SB 1222 would provide, under permits issued by the Department of Fish and Wildlife and by regulations of the State Water Resources Control Board or a California regional water quality control board, for specified activities, that the use of vacuum or suction dredge equipment means the use of any equipment that removes minerals and water in conjunction to process and recover minerals. Status: SB 1222 awaits consideration in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. RCRC Position: Support

Senate Bill 1277 (Hueso): Salton Sea: Governance. Senate Bill 1277 would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would create a governance and administrative structure to manage the day-to-day implementation of the Salton Sea Management Program. Status: SB 1277 awaits consideration in the Senate Rules Committee. RCRC Position: Watch