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Governor Newsom Signs Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan’s Consumer Protection Bill on Utility-Caused Fires

AB 2083 prohibits utilities from passing on the costs of at-fault legal settlements to ratepayers

For immediate release:

Sacramento CA – Governor Gavin Newsom has signed Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan’s (D-Orinda) AB 2083, which protects ratepayers of electrical companies from their money being used by the company to pay for wildfire settlement agreements.

“In the last five years, California suffered an unprecedented number of wildfires caused by utilities,” said Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan. “Charging ratepayers for the companies’ negligence is unethical and must end. I’m thrilled the governor has signed AB 2083 to protect ratepayers.”

AB 2083 prohibits the use of ratepayer funds in criminal or civil settlement agreements where a utility has been found negligent in starting a fire. Currently, when an investor-owned utility (IOU) reaches a pre-trial settlement with the State, county, or city, the funds for the settlement amount can be drawn from ratepayers, making Californians pay for a company’s negligence. AB 2083 ends this practice in order to hold companies fully accountable and protect ratepayers.