Sen. Jim Beall Announces State Funding to Reimburse San Jose for PG&E Blackout Safety Efforts

November 01, 2019

San Jose, Calif.  -- State Senator Jim Beall (D-15) and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo met today to discuss new state resources available to the City of San Jose to support its Public Safety Public Shutoff (PSPS) emergency response. The City incurred major costs while implementing imperative public safety and outreach efforts to ensure the security of residents during the initial and corresponding PSPS events. Now, $500,000 in state funds are available to reimburse the City of San Jose for these expenses.

“San Jose should be made whole for the cost of the first public safety shutoff,” said Sen. Beall. “This session we passed legislation that will make California more resilient to wildfires and hold utilities accountable. As we look towards January, we will continue to focus on safety and preventive measures so this does not become the new normal in California.”

The Legislature included a $75 million one-time General Fund appropriation in the 2019 Budget Act to support state and local government efforts to enact emergency public safety measures in response to utility-led PSPS actions. Large municipalities across the state will receive $500,000 in direct aid and will be eligible for additional grant resources related to future PSPS events. Additionally, the Legislature passed a package of bills focused on making communities more resilient to fires, and cities better prepared to respond to a fire emergency. Legislators also required the California Public Utilities Commission to take a number of actions to require our investor-owned utilities to make investments in wildfire prevention and response.

“We should not accept these actions as the new normal,” said Beall. “PG&E’s lack of preparedness has meant increased burdens on the state and local governments. For the near future, the state and local governments must partner together to keep our neighborhoods safe.”