By Ivan Penn and Peter Eavis | The New York Times
Heading into another wildfire season, California’s political leaders have moved with unusual speed to help the state’s utilities erect a backstop against huge liability claims.
The State Legislature gave final approval on Thursday to a measure that would set up a fund to help compensate victims for losses from fires started by the utilities’ equipment.
The bill is based on a proposal last month by Gov. Gavin Newsom, and legislators rushed to pass it before a summer break. It is a response to two years of devastating wildfires that in January led Pacific Gas & Electric, California’s largest utility, to file for bankruptcy protection.