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Mayor Liccardo and Sen. Jim Beall Announce State Funding Established by Governor Newsom to Reimburse the City of San José for PG&E Blackout Safety Costs

State establishes $75 million fund to reimburse municipalities for emergency public safety measures amid PG&E’s ongoing blackouts

Post Date:11/01/2019

San José, Calif. – San José Mayor Sam Liccardo and State Senator Jim Beall (D-15) shared details of new state funding made available to the City of San José by Governor Gavin Newsom and State Legislature to support its Public Safety Public Shutoff (PSPS) emergency response efforts. The City incurred major costs while planning for and 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 José for these expenses.

“We’re grateful to Governor Newsom and our partners at State, such as Senator Beall, who’ve worked to reimburse the City of San José for stepping up to protect our community and their public safety from PG&E’s ongoing blackouts,” said Mayor Liccardo. “These additional State resources will help ensure our scarce City dollars fund critical services upon which all our residents depend.”

Funds appropriated from this state grant will cover costs incurred by the City of San José while planning for and coping with PG&E blackouts over the next three years, a period from July 1, 2019, through October 31, 2022. These include:

  • Generators at essential facilities;
  • Generator fuel and fuel storage;
  • Emergency communications equipment;
  • The development of contingency and emergency plans for electrical disruptions;
  • Post-event reports;
  • Public education and outreach materials; and,
  • One-time costs associated with equipping resource centers for public access.

“We should not accept these actions as the new normal,” said Sen. 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.”

Governor Newsom and state 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. Three other large municipalities will receive $500,000 in direct aide alongside San José; Los Angeles, San Diego, and Oakland. These cities will also be eligible for additional grant resources related to future PSPS events. Additionally, the Legislature passed a
Mayor
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.
You can read the full details of Governor Newsom’s and State Legislature actions here.

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Media Contact:
Rachel Davis, Office of Mayor Liccardo, 408.535.4857, rachel.davis@sanjoseca.gov

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