California lawmakers witness rebuild in burn scar – Chico Enterprise-Record

Michael Weber


PARADISE — Along the burn scars of Paradise ridge in Butte County, a handful of state legislators led by Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) went on a tour Thursday to witness rebuilding efforts since the 2018 Camp Fire, and talk policy on emergency preparedness and affordable housing in rural communities.

Recognizing the effort made in wake of the disaster, Gallagher took opportunity to speak in a press conference on legislative work toward addressing risk mitigation and removing barriers to developments and affordable housing — what he called a “cross section of what’s going on in California and statewide.”

Joining Gallagher were Assemblyman Freddie Rodriguez (D-Chino), Senator Kelly Seyarto (R-Murrieta), Assemblyman Greg Wallis (R-Rancho Mirage), Assemblywoman Marie Waldron (R-San Diego), Assemblyman Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale), Assemblyman Devon Mathis (R-Visalia) and Assemblyman Juan Alanis (R-Modesto).

Left to right, Assemblyman Freddie Rodriguez; District 32 state Sen. Kelly Seyarto; Assemblyman Greg Wallis; Assemblywoman Marie Waldron; Assemblyman Tom Lackey; Assemblyman James Gallagher; Assemblyman Devon Mathis; and Assemblyman Juan Alanis are seen Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024 at a press conference set on Fir Street in Paradise, California. (Michael Weber/Enterprise-Record)

“They, in their own districts, have seen disasters; they’ve seen issue with wildfire, with floods; and we need to better plan for our emergency situations,” Gallager said about the representatives. “…what we are doing up here and the things that we’re seeing here in Paradise and the ridge community is actually a really good cross section of what we can do statewide.”

Regarding risk mitigation, Gallagher said part of what legislators need to do is make smart policy decisions; he recommended changes to processing for California Environmental Quality Act, permitting and insurance  in order to expedite rebuilding.

“Up here we’re talking a lot about wildfire and what we need to do to prevent wildfire, but there are other emergencies we need to be better planned for; better prepared for; and that’s been a big conversation,” Gallagher said, including earthquakes and flooding.

The need for affordable housing was also brought forth in discussion by Gallagher.

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2024-01-12 12:30:23 , Chico Enterprise-Record

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