Senator Brian Dahle Calls for Immediate Special Session of the Legislature for Power Shut-Offs, Homeowners Insurance and Wildfires

SACRAMENTO - Senator Brian Dahle (R-Bieber) today called on Governor Gavin Newsom to issue a proclamation to convene the Legislature to address the current crisis of wildfires, power outages, and homeowners insurance cancellations.

“If there were ever an extraordinary situation in which the legislature should be called back to Sacramento to solve a pressing issue this is it. We cannot go another week like this. It’s untenable, it’s inhumane, it’s cruel, and it is our duty to address these issues immediately. Waiting until January is not an option,” said Brian Dahle (R-Bieber).

Additionally, Dahle has written to insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara insisting that he immediately issue a moratorium on any further cancellations of homeowner insurance policies during the current State of Emergency.

“Our constituents have no electricity, are choking on smoke, and then go to their mailbox and receive a notice that their homeowners insurance will be cancelled. This has to stop. I’m calling upon the Insurance Commissioner to immediately put a moratorium on any further homeowner insurance policy cancellations,” Dahle continued.

In the last two weeks, several legislators have put forth ideas to resolve these issues, and the Senate Pro-Tem Toni Atkins has appointed a working group of Democrat Senators. If Gov. Newsom convenes the legislature this week, that group and a Special Session can concurrently work on some solutions to act immediately rather than next year.

PG&E will not survive this.  Too little has been done over the years to mitigate the overgrowth of forested lands, and PG&E has failed to maintain their equipment, which is igniting wildfires around the state. A real conversation must be had on how this utility should be broken into smaller, more responsive power providers. In addition, determine who controls our power systems to avoid this terrible situation in the future. We must have a transition plan for the thousands of honorable and hardworking PG&E employees who live and work in our communities.

“I’ve had enough of utility executives that care more about Wall Street and their profits than the health and safety of Californians.  We need a state-led plan to take PG&E out of the bankruptcy court — where the legal maneuvers of hedge fund managers are driving the utility’s decisions — and ensure its reorganization serves the customers first,” said Dahle.

For his part, Senator Dahle will introduce legislation to:

Transition the Public Utilities Commission to an elected body which can be held accountable to the voters of California with all commissioners being voted on in 2020. 

“The Public Utilities Commission has failed to regulate the utilities of this state. They need to face the voters. California electricity prices are higher than other states, our carbon emissions have not come down because of utility wildfires, and now we have Davis-era rolling blackouts again. They have failed. The legislature needs to provide oversight,” noted Dahle.

Move the offices of the Public Utilities Commission from San Francisco to Sacramento closer to the Legislature and the Governor where proper oversight can be conducted.



SEC. 3.(b) On extraordinary occasions the Governor by proclamation may
cause the Legislature to assemble in special session.  When so
assembled it has power to legislate only on subjects specified in the
proclamation but may provide for expenses and other matters
incidental to the session.

Letters to Gov. Newsom and Commissioner Lara

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