Assembly Member Luz Rivas introduced Assembly Bill 585 this week to establish the Extreme Heat and Community Resilience Program to facilitate the implementation of regional and state climate change planning into effective projects. The bill would add Part 4.6 (commencing with Section 71361) to Division 34 of the Public Resources Code. Part 4.6 would be named the Extreme Heat and Community Resilience Program.
The bill would provide definitions for the terms “eligible entities,” “office” and “Program.” Eligible entities would include nonprofit organizations or coalitions of nonprofit organizations, community-based organizations, community development corporations or financial institutions, local and regional public agencies, joint powers authorities, and tribal governments, that demonstrate multi-stakeholder partnership in the development and implementation of a project.
The goal of AB 585 is to mitigate the impacts of extreme heat through the use of reflective surface materials in the built environment and other activities. Eligible projects are specified.
In addition, the purpose is to reduce the public health risks of extreme heat and related climate change impacts and enhance the resilience of affected populations by establishing community resilience centers and supporting community resilience planning efforts and other activities. The bill would result in the updating of local plans, including general plans, local coastal programs, local hazard mitigation plans, heat action plans, and other local plans to improve community resilience to the impacts of climate change.
Moreover, there would be public education campaigns and other measures to increase awareness of the public health risks of extreme heat, the services available to reduce those risks, and further opportunities to reduce those risks. In order to maximize the effectiveness of projects, Office of Planning and Research would be required to consult with state agencies and local and regional public health agencies. Office of Planning and Research would also manage and award competitive grants for extreme heat and community resilience projects to eligible entities through an application process.
In awarding grants, Office of Planning and Research would be required to give priority to projects that would serve disadvantaged communities, demonstrate participation in a regional climate collaborative program, or serve those populations most vulnerable to the impacts of extreme heat, as determined by the relevant local health department.
Finally, AB 585 would establish the Extreme Heat and Community Resilience Fund in the State Treasury and moneys in the fund would implement the Program upon appropriation by the Legislature.
AB 585 is expected to receive its first hearing in late March.
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