California Legislation to Merge OES and OHS Succeeds
Governor's Signature Anticipated - Updated 09/03/08
Sacramento -On August 29th the California Assembly passed AB-38 by Assemblyman Pedro Nava (D, Santa Barbara) on a vote of 77 to 1. The Assembly vote followed an earlier vote of similar nature in the Senate, which supported the bill 39 to 0. Under the provisions of the measure, the Office of Emergency Services (OES) and the Office of Homeland Security (OHS) will be merged to create the California Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) responsible for overseeing and coordinating emergency preparedness, response, recovery, and homeland security activities.
It also specifies CEMA will be under the supervision of the Secretary of the department of Emergency Services and Homeland Security appointed by the Governor, who will succeed to and be vested with the duties, powers, purposes, responsibilities, and jurisdiction of the directors of the respective offices.
CICC has worked cooperatively with both OES and OHS, however, in the past several years we have worked particularly close to the Governor's Office of Homeland Security as part of CICC's proactive Chemical Plant Security initiative. CICC followed AB-38 since introduction but did not take a formal position on the matter.
The Governor is expected to sign the bill, which has the full support of both OES and OHS. CICC is pleased with the outcome and expects to continue a cooperative and proactive relationship with the newly formed agency.
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