Lawmakers Consider Future Plans for Earthquake Panel
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) on Wednesday said the California Seismic Safety Commission should be brought under control of the State and Consumer Services Agency because the commission is "really not accomplishing as much as we expect," the Los Angeles Times reports.
According to Schwarzenegger, the state has not complied with seismic safety recommendations for hospitals and schools because the commission lacks influence. The proposal to move the independent commission under SCSA would give it more influence by providing an advocate within the administration, Schwarzenegger said.
Sen. Elaine Alquist (D-San Jose) and supporters of the commission have been in talks with the administration regarding the future of the commission. A compromise might be near that would move the commission "under the auspices of" SCSA, but allow it to "retain its complete and full policymaking autonomy," according to Alquist Chief of Staff Sailaja Cherukuri. A comprise could be included in legislation as early as Tuesday, Cherukuri said.
Alquist also is trying to find an alternate funding source for the commission. Currently, the commission is funded by a seven-cents-per-policy fee levied on insurers in the state (Bernstein, Los Angeles Times, 4/20).