Napa, CA - U.S. Reps. Mike Thompson (CA-5), Doug LaMalfa (CA-1), and Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) announced today that they and 15 Members have introduced the Increase Federal Disaster Cost Share Act of 2020. The bipartisan legislation would increase the Federal cost share provided from 75 percent to 90 percent for any federal disaster declaration beginning at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic through the end of 2020. Coauthors of this legislation are Reps. Ami Bera (CA-7), Salud Carbajal (CA-24), Gilbert R. Cisneros (CA-39), Jim Costa (CA-16), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18), John Garamendi (CA-3), Jared Huffman (CA-2), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), and Harley Rouda (CA-48).
“As State and local communities work around the clock to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters have made matters worse by placing additional strain on governments already stretched thin,” said Rep. Thompson. “From wildfires to hurricanes to flooding, additional support is needed to effectively respond to these disasters on top of the current public health crisis. Our bipartisan legislation will provide much needed assistance for our cash-strapped state and local governments who are struggling to make ends meet and maintain services.”
“Local governments in Northern California have had to find money in their already tight budgets to contend with both COVID-19 and raging wildfires this year. As fire season moves forward, they need help making ends meet,” said Rep. LaMalfa. “I supported similar legislation for the Camp and Carr Fire recovery back in 2018, and it has been a lifeline for counties as they continue to recover. This bipartisan legislation will, not only bring relief to Californians, but also to state and local governments across the country who’ve had to combat disasters of their own.”
“Our local governments are working hard to keep our Central Coast communities safe during this difficult fire season. That’s why I’m proud to work with my colleague Mike Thompson on this important piece of legislation to increase the federal cost sharing of that response and recovery from 75 to 90 percent,” said Rep. Panetta. “Such an increase in federal dollars to our communities will ensure we rebuild with resilience.”
Over 14,000 firefighters continue to battle more than two dozen major fires and lightning complexes across California. Since the lightning siege that started on Saturday, August 15, 2020, there have been more than 625 new wildfires, which have now burned over 1.2 million acres, with seven reported fatalities and more than 1,200 structures destroyed.