RCRC has lent its support to Assembly Bill 72, authored by the Assembly Budget Committee. AB 72 makes a number of immediate state budget increases relating to wildfire, drinking water, and other urgent statewide needs.
One of the key provisions of AB 72 provides three years of property tax backfill relief for local agencies in Butte and Lake Counties due to the severity of recent wildfire damage. The bill also provides current year funding for the emergency preparedness public awareness campaign to prepare for future emergency events. Finally, of importance to RCRC, the bill provides $10 million to address urgent drinking water needs.
While RCRC supports the bill, RCRC is requesting a number of amendments. These include: 1) adding Mendocino, Napa, and Sonoma Counties as areas to receive additional years of property tax backfill; 2) amending the language to specifically define “disadvantaged communities” as those with a median household income less than 80 percent of the statewide average; and, 3) amending the language to ensure that non-profits are assisting disadvantaged communities.
AB 72 is in the final stages of the legislative process. It is likely to reach Governor Newsom’s desk by the end of next week. RCRC’s support letter can be accessed here. Staci Heaton, RCRC Regulatory Affairs Advocate, can be reached at (916) 447-4806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.