On Saturday, September 24, Governor Brown vetoed Senate Bill 1463, which would have given local governments more say in fire-prevention efforts through the current Public Utilities Commission current proceeding making maps of fire hazard areas around utility lines. Senator Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) authored SB 1463 at the request of Senate District 37 city, Laguna Beach, which has experienced four fires sparked by utility lines in the last ten years. SB 1463 passed the Legislature with votes of 75-0 on the Assembly Floor and 39-0 on the Senate Floor. Today, Senator Moorlach released the following statement in response to Governor Brown vetoing SB 1463:
"One of the paramount responsibilities of government is to provide for public safety. The consequences of wildfires include loss of life, property damage, impacts on ecosystems, etc. Communities in my district, particularly Laguna Beach, are rightfully very concerned about fire safety.
"SB 1463 would have not only safeguarded Laguna and other high fire-risk communities in Orange County, but would have helped other vulnerable communities throughout the state that are often threatened by wildfires caused by sparks from shorted or fallen utility lines. The Governor's veto impedes the necessity to more urgently address the California Public Utilities Commission's focus on identifying high risk areas that should be prioritized for appropriate mitigation measures."