Disaster Legislation




Disaster Legislation

1996-97 Flood

In December 1996-January 1997, storms caused major flooding and property damage in 44 California counties. Inhabitants of the Sacramento and San Joaquin areas of the state were displaced from their homes, injured, and left without resources. More than 160,000 acres of land were flooded due to levee failures. The Franchise Tax Board estimated that the damage caused by the storms caused losses of $1.8 billion. In response to the disaster, Governor Wilson issued Executive Order No. 4-140-97 declaring the 44 counties affected disaster areas. He also called the First Extraordinary Session to respond to the situation. President Clinton also granted a limited major disaster declaration for the specified counties in order to provide relief to the victims. The Legislature and the Governor did approve measures providing for the relief and other assistance.

SB 181* (Kopp-I) Environmental quality: storms of 1996-97

Exempts from the California Environmental Quality Act until January 1, 1999, repair, reconstruction, restoration, or rehabilitation of a public facility or private levee damaged or destroyed by the storms and floods of 1997 in a disaster-struck area for which the Governor proclaimed a state of emergency.

Chapter 4, Statutes of 1997

SB 1313* (Leslie-R) Disaster assistance loans: farmworkers

Appropriates $1 million from the Special Fund for Economic Uncertainties to the Farmworker Housing Grant Fund for allocation by the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) to counties, with first priority to Yuba County, for loans to repair or replace farmworker houses damaged or destroyed by the 1997 floods and administrative costs incurred by HCD to allocate funds.

Chapter 104, Statutes of 1997

SCR 30 (Johnston-D) Flood Emergency Worker Recognition Day

Designated April 17, 1997 as Flood Emergency Worker Recognition Day which was designed to give thanks for public workers, employees of nonprofit agencies and volunteers who aided their fellow Californian's during the major winter storms starting on December 26, 1996.

Resolution Chapter 22, Statutes of 1997

SR 13 (Johannessen-R) Flood victims

Designated May 29, 1997 as Flood Victims Awareness Day to remember the victims of the January 1997 floods.


A similar resolution is ACR 35 (Alby-R), which is in Assembly Rules Committee.

SB 2X* (Leslie-R) Disaster relief: watershed protection

Requires the state to contribute up to 25% of the total construction costs for eligible emergency measures under the federal Energy Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention program.

(In Senate Appropriations Committee)

SB 4X* (Costa-D) Water resources: flood control

Appropriates $525,000 from General Fund to undertake flood control prevention projects and actions called for in the General Report of the Governor's Flood Emergency Action Team

Chapter 1, Statutes of 1997-98, First Extraordinary Session

SB 9X* (Johnston-D) Cosumnes River: levee repair

Appropriates $2.5 million from the General Fund for the repair of private levees on the Cosumnes River, as specified.

(In Assembly Appropriations Committee)

SB 11X* (Maddy-R) Water resources: damage repair work

Appropriates $10.4 million from the General Fund for erosion and sediment control projects needed as the result of 1997 flood damage. Requires the State Department of Water Resources, on or before January 1, 1999, to submit to the Joint Committee on Legislative Budget a report summarizing the expenditure of any allocated funds.

Chapter 2, Statutes of 1997-98, First Extraordinary Session

AB 97* (Frusetta-R) Flood control projects

Enacts the Frusetta-Morrissey Flood Prevention Act of 1997 by appropriating $170 million to the State Department of Water Resources for purpose of flood control subventions to local entities that have incurred costs in building specified local flood protection projects.

(In Assembly Appropriations Committee)

Similar legislation is AB 3X (Frusetta-R), which is in Assembly Water Protection and Wildlife Committee.

AB 1X* (Cardoza-D) Disaster relief: taxation relief

Requires the State Controller to reimburse affected counties for the property tax revenue lost as a result of storms and floods in California in December 1996 or January 1997. Permits income taxpayers to carry over a larger proportion of their excess uninsured casualty losses which are attributable to the storms.

Chapter 3, Statutes of 1997-98, First Extraordinary Session

Similar legislation is AB 91 (Bowler-R), which is in Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee, and AB 4X (Bowler-R).

AB 2X* (Strom-Martin-D) Disaster relief: state assistance

Requires the state to pay the 25% local share of nonfederally-reimbursed costs associated with the storms and floods in December and January 1997.

Chapter 4, Statutes of 1997-98, First Extraordinary Session

AB 5X* (Floyd-D) Disaster relief: sales tax increase

Increases the sales tax by 1/4% to fund relief for disasters declared by the Governor.

(In Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee)

AB 10X* (Machado-D) Disaster assistance

Allows emergency capital outlay appropriations, which are associated with any declared emergency that is directly related to the January 1997 floods or any flood-related emergency that is declared by the Governor on or before January 1, 1999 to be submitted by the Director of Finance as part of the state budget process.

Chapter 8, Statutes of 1997-98, First Extraordinary Session

AB 11X* (Poochigian-R) Water resources: damage repair work

Appropriates $4,705,000 to the State Department of Water Resources for 10 prescribed capital outlay projects recommended in the final report of the Governor's Flood Emergency Action Team to address damage sustained from the January 1997 floods and to restore system integrity.

Chapter 5, Statutes of 1997-98, First Extraordinary Session


SB 88 (McPherson-R) Natural disaster assistance: Loma Prieta

Increases the cap on state disaster assistance to private, nonprofit hospitals damaged by the Loma Prieta earthquake to $10 million. Requires a hospital that receives disaster funding under the higher cap to repay the state if it converts to a for-profit facility within 10 years after receiving the funding.

Vetoed by the Governor

SB 594* (Wright-R) Northridge earthquake: property tax relief

Provides the victims of the Northridge earthquake 2 additional years to acquire or construct replacement property (homes to live in) and to receive property tax relief. Applies to both intra- and inter-county transfers.

Chapter 353, Statutes of 1997

SB 774 (Johannessen-R) Disasters: restoration of land

Allows a 12-month period to apply for an exemption from California Environmental Quality Act requirements in order to restore land and improvements following natural or manmade disasters.

(In Senate Environmental Quality Committee)

SB 959 (Kopp-D) Office of Emergency Services: claims

Appropriates $20,358,000 for support of the Disaster Assistance Branch of the State Office of Emergency Services from January 1, 1998 to June 30, 1998 to enable the office to comply with legislative intent that the office rely on interagency agreements with one or more state agency to provide the workforce necessary for claims processing. Requires the Governor, as a condition to receipt of the funds, to limit the role of the office with respect to disaster claims processing to the absolute minimum number of staff required.

Chapter 338, Statutes of 1997

SB 1152 (Dills-D) Emergency broadcasts: disasters

States legislative intent, consistent with federal law, that television stations that broadcast the Emergency Broadcast System and emergency updates provide closed captioning services for deaf and hearing-impaired throughout all live broadcasts that alert the general public to danger or disaster.

(In Assembly Governmental Organization Committee)

SB 1X (Leslie-R) Disaster relief

Requires that any request by the State Franchise Tax Board for documentation related to disaster-related income tax deductions for a post-1995 disaster to be reasonable in light of the disaster and the likelihood that the information requested would have survived the disaster. Specifies that such information could include sworn testimony, if that is the only available documentation.

(At Assembly Desk awaiting referral to a policy committee)

SB 3X (Lee-D) Flood areas: land use planning

Requires the Governor's Office of Planning and Research to coordinate and assist the distribution of information, including maps prepared or issued under enumerated provision of existing law, the county and city planning agencies and other local officials regarding the identification of areas subject to flood hazards.

(In Senate Housing and Land Use Committee)

SB 6X (Ayala-D) Disaster Indemnity Fund: veterans

Increases the amount of the deductibles on flood and earthquake claims under the Cal-Vet home loan program and specifies the perils covered under the Disaster Indemnity Fund.

Chapter 6, Statutes of 1997-98, First Extraordinary Session

Similar legislation is SB 1138 (Johannessen-R), which is in Senate Appropriations Committee.

SB 7X (Johannessen-R) Streambed alterations

Extends the type and variety of projects and activities that are exempt from review by the State Department of Fish and Game for substantial effects on streambeds and wildlife or fish.

(In Senate Natural Resources and Wildlife Committee)

SB 10X (Johannessen-R) Natural disasters: state assistance

Requires the state to pay (1) 50% of the nonfederal share of hazard mitigation costs associated with natural disasters, (2) at least 75% of the nonfederal share of disaster refinance costs, and (3) regular wage and benefit costs associated with local personnel who respond to natural disasters.

(In Senate Appropriations Committee)

AB 455 (Richter-R) Emergency service

Requires the State Office of Emergency Services (OES) and the State Department of Water Resources to conduct annual flood emergency workshops pursuant to the recommendations of the Flood Emergency Action Team. Requires the OES to develop a federal and state disaster assistance matrix describing the type of assistance provided.

(In Senate Appropriations Committee)

AB 6X (Torlakson-D) Real estate disclosure: natural hazards

Requires a seller and/or seller's agent to provide prospective buyers a "Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement" disclosing whether the residence in question is located within a specified natural hazard zone, as specified.

Chapter 7, Statutes of 1997-98, First Extraordinary Session

AB 8X* (Martinez-D) Disaster relief: supplemental relief

Establishes a tax penalty amnesty program for which revenues derived from the program would be deposited into the Supplemental Individual Assistance Account established in the Natural Disaster Assistance Fund to provide disaster loss assistance.

(In Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee)