As the record heat wave continues, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday that he signed legislation — which includes a bill aimed to protect vulnerable communities like the Coachella Valley — to protect Californians from the heat waves driven by climate change.
“This week’s unprecedented heat wave is a painful reminder of the costs and impacts of climate change — and it won’t be the last,” Newsom said. “California is taking aggressive action to combat the climate crisis and build resilience in our most vulnerable communities, including a comprehensive strategy to protect Californians from extreme heat.”
The governor signed the legislation to build on California’s Extreme Heat Action Plan, aimed to strengthen resilience and to mitigate the impacts of the extreme heat, according to a statement from his office.
The legislation includes a bill authored by assemblymembers Eduardo Garcia and Luz Rivas for a ranking and warning system aimed to prepare communities in advance for upcoming heat waves, according to the statement from Newsom’s office.
“Establishing a first-in-the-nation heat wave ranking and warning system will help California better protect environmentally vulnerable communities, like those in the Coachella Valley and Imperial County areas I represent, and importantly help save lives,” said Garcia. “Extreme heat is a public health emergency that disproportionately impacts communities like ours.”
The legislation signed by Newsom also includes three other bills aimed to:
— Create an advisory committee for the effects of the extreme heat on California workers, businesses and economy;
— Review research on the extreme heat’s impact on perinatal health to develop safe outdoor conditions and protections for pregnant workers;
— Allow cities and counties to invest in programs to tackle extreme heat, drought, wildlife and other climate impacts.
Newsom signed budget legislation earlier this week to direct $315 million over two years to advance the implementation of the Extreme Heat Action Plan programs, according to his office. His multi-year climate allotment also includes $865 million to address extreme heat.