Senate BillNo. 1293

Introduced by Senator Berryhill

February 19, 2016

An act to amend Section 4214 of the Public Resources Code, relating to fire prevention.


SB 1293, as introduced, Berryhill. Fire prevention: fire fee.

Existing law requires the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection, on or before September 1, 2011, to adopt emergency regulations to establish a fire prevention fee in an amount not to exceed $150 to be charged on each habitable structure on a parcel that is within a state responsibility area. Existing law requires the fee moneys to be expended, upon appropriation, in specified ways, including to reimburse the State Board of Equalization’s expenses incurred in the collection of the fee and to the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection and to the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection for administration purposes.

This bill would make a nonsubstantive change to this law.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P1    1


Section 4214 of the Public Resources Code is
2amended to read:



(a) Fire prevention fees collected pursuant to this chapter
4shall be expended, upon appropriation by the Legislature, as

6(1) The State Board of Equalization shall retain moneys
7necessary for the payment of refunds pursuant to Section 4228 and
P2    1reimbursement of the State Board of Equalization for expenses
2incurred in the collection of the fee.

3(2) The moneys collected, other than those retained by the State
4Board of Equalization pursuant to paragraph (1), shall be deposited
5into the State Responsibility Area Fire Prevention Fund, which is
6hereby created in the State Treasury, and shall be available to the
7board and the department to expend for fire prevention activities
8specified in subdivision (d) that benefit the owners of habitable
9structures within a state responsibility area who are required to
10pay the fire prevention fee. The amount expended to benefit the
11owners of habitable structures within a state responsibility area
12shall be commensurate with the amount collected from the owners
13within that state responsibility area. All moneys in excess of the
14costs of administration of the board and the department shall be
15expended only for fire prevention activities in counties with state
16responsibility areas.

17(b) (1) The fund may also be used to cover the costs of
18administering this chapter.

19(2) The fund shall cover all startup costs incurred over a period
20not to exceed two years.

21(c) It is the intent of the Legislature that the moneys inbegin delete thisend deletebegin insert theend insert
22 fund be fully appropriated to the board and the department each
23year in order to effectuate the purposes of this chapter.

24(d) Moneys in the fund shall be used only for the following fire
25prevention activities, which shall benefit owners of habitable
26structures within the state responsibility areas who are required to
27pay the annual fire prevention fee pursuant to this chapter:

28(1) Local assistance grants pursuant to subdivision (e).

29(2) Grants to Fire Safe Councils, the California Conservation
30Corps, or certified local conservation corps for fire prevention
31projects and activities in the state responsibility areas.

32(3) Grants to a qualified nonprofit organization with a
33demonstrated ability to satisfactorily plan, implement, and complete
34a fire prevention project applicable to the state responsibility areas.
35The department may establish other qualifying criteria.

36(4) Inspections by the department for compliance with defensible
37space requirements around habitable structures in state
38responsibility areas as required by Section 4291.

39(5) Public education to reduce fire risk in the state responsibility

P3    1(6) Fire severity and fire hazard mapping by the department in
2the state responsibility areas.

3(7) Other fire prevention projects in the state responsibility
4areas, authorized by the board.

5(e) (1) The board shall establish a local assistance grant program
6for fire prevention activities designed to benefit habitable structures
7within state responsibility areas, including public education, that
8are provided by counties and other local agencies, including special
9districts, with state responsibility areas within their jurisdictions.

10(2) In order to ensure an equitable distribution of funds, the
11amount of each grant shall be based on the number of habitable
12structures in state responsibility areas for which the applicant is
13legally responsible and the amount of moneys made available in
14the annual Budget Act for this local assistance grant program.

15(f) By January 31, 2015, and annually thereafter, the board shall
16submit to the Legislature a written report on the status and uses of
17the fund pursuant to this chapter. The written report shall also
18include an evaluation of the benefits received by counties based
19on the number of habitable structures in state responsibility areas
20within their jurisdictions, the effectiveness of the board’s grant
21programs, the number of defensible space inspections in the
22reporting period, the degree of compliance with defensible space
23requirements, measures to increase compliance, if any, and any
24recommendations to the Legislature.

25(g) (1) The requirement for submitting a report imposed under
26subdivision (f) is inoperative on January 31, 2017, pursuant to
27Section 10231.5 of the Government Code.

28(2) A report to be submitted pursuant to subdivision (f) shall be
29submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government

31(h) It is essential that this article be implemented without delay.
32To permit timely implementation, the department may contract
33for services related to the establishment of the fire prevention fee
34collection process. For this purpose only, and for a period not to
35exceed 24 months, the provisions of the Public Contract Code or
36any other provision of law related to public contracting shall not