A weekly round-up of the biggest news in California politics….
Feinstein and Barnes developing legislation to protect California and Montana communities from wildfires: Senator Feinstein, with Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) are developing bipartisan legislation to protect communities from wildfires. The legislation seeks to protect public safety by expediting and expanding the removal of dead, dying and hazardous trees in national forests.
The senators released a joint statement this week asserting that millions of acres of forest across the west are at high risk of catastrophic wildfires, and additional resources are urgently needed to tackle emergency conditions. Their developing legislation aims to improve forest management, speed up restoration of forest landscapes in California and Montana, create viable solutions for removal of dead and dying trees and accelerate post-fire restoration.
Feinstein and Barnes intend to introduce the legislation after the Senate returns from the August work period.
Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti announces funding agreement with HUD: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced this week an agreement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for continued funding. Garcetti states the agreement will deliver thousands of new or rehabilitated affordable, accessible homes for Angelenos while also securing the rights of disabled residents to accessible housing.
Governor Newsom announces hiring of 400 new CAL FIRE firefighters: Governor Newsom this week signed an executive order authorizing a surge in nearly 400 seasonal firefighters to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) for this year’s fire season. The department will also receive 13 new fire engines.
“Climate change has created a new reality in California with catastrophic fires, and there is nothing more critical for my Administration than to ensure we are investing in resources that can help our firefighters and communities prepare and respond to fires and other natural disasters,” said Governor Newsom.
“As President of CAL FIRE Local 2881, I cannot over-emphasize the importance of Govern Newsom’s action. His leadership brings a more reasonable approach to the way we fight fires in California. Our firefighters will continue to work incredibly long shifts without being driven to a breaking point. We are appreciative,” stated Tim Edwards.
Attorney General Becerra responds to final judgment blocking citizenship question on 2020 Census: California Attorney General Xavier Becerra issued the following statement after a U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a judgment in accordance with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in June permanently barring the Trump Administration from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census:
“This judgement closes the door on any further attempts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census – once and for all,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Now it’s time to get to work to ensure a thorough and accurate count takes place next year. We strongly encourage everyone to participate in the 2020 census.”
California State Parks announces $4.1 million for local park projects: California State Parks this week announced the selection of 26 local park projects that will receive grants totaling $4.1 million from the California Conservation Fund Grant Program. Among the funded projects are summer camps, free activities for youths, habitat restoration, wildlife study, the construction of ADA-compliant trails, acquisition of open space, non-native plant removal and educational programs.