California utility seeks help in paying wildfire victims
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A troubled California utility company is asking the state Legislature to let it borrow money without paying taxes so it can compensate victims of a devastating wildfire caused by its equipment.
Pacific Gas & Electric is facing up to $30 billion in potential damages from lawsuits stemming from recent wildfires, including one last year that killed 86 people and destroyed much of the town of Paradise.
The proposal authored by Republican Assemblyman Chad Mayes would let a state entity issue tax exempt bonds on behalf of PG&E. Shareholders would pay off the bonds, not ratepayers. And taxpayers would not have to pay in case of default.
A spokeswoman for Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins said the Senate Rules Committee has not decided if the bill will move forward.