Newsom’s Wildfire Plan For PG&E, Other Utilities, Needs Two-Thirds Vote In Legislature


Publish Date:
June 28, 2019
The Sacramento Bee
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Potentially complicating Gov. Gavin Newsom’s effort to pay for future wildfires and lift PG&E Corp. out of bankruptcy, his legislation will require a two-thirds supermajority to pass the Legislature.

Newsom’s fellow Democrats captured a supermajority in last November’s election. And a Republican assemblyman has signed on as a co-author of the wildfire legislation.

In PG&E’s case, it would effectively cap the troubled utility’s reimbursement at about $4.8 billion for future fires, said Michael Wara, a Stanford University law professor who has been advising the governor.

The plan “will help to stabilize the situation for utilities but also for ratepayers and for victims,” Wara said. “Ratepayers aren’t better off having utilities in bankruptcy or near bankruptcy. Victims aren’t better off trying to recover their losses from bankrupt companies.”

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