Wildfire Survivors Gather to Support Legislation

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SACRAMENTO -- Survivors of catastrophic wildfires gathered Monday at the State Capitol to support Assembly Bill 1054.

"We were decimated by the Butte Fire in 2015. That would be 1,397 days ago. Haven’t seen a dime," said Terry McBride, who survived the Butte Fire in Amador County.

If passed, AB 1054 would provide more legal protection for fire victims, create more safety regulations for utilities and protect ratepayers and utility companies from bearing too much of the financial burden.

"It ensures safety for all of us California, not just in the next two years but in the next decade," Up From The Ashes spokesman James McCallum said.

But not everyone is happy with the legislation as it's currently written.

Several amendments have been proposed, with some saying AB 1054 doesn’t do enough to protect customers and hold utilities to higher safety standards. But those who back the bill say it's a good starting point.

"There are people that are advocating for amendments. There are people advocating for increased transparency. There are people who are advocating for increased measures all over the place, but the reality is is we need to get started," Somona County Supervisor James Gore said.

AB 1054 was heard by the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee on Monday and approved in a bipartisan vote. It now heads to the state Assembly.

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