News

TechSpot: California to hold hearing on why Verizon throttled mobile data for firefighters

TechSpot


By William Gayde

Members of the California State Assembly are meeting today in an effort to discover why Verizon throttled the mobile data speeds for firefighters in Santa Clara County. Verizon had previously said it was a customer service error but fire officials and lawmakers aren't buying that. The hearing will include comments from fire department staff and Verizon representatives.

Ars Technica: Verizon stops throttling more firefighters, plans unlimited data “with no caps”

Ars Technica


By Jon Brodkin

​​​​​State lawmakers hold hearing today

Verizon may be worried about losing customers to AT&T, which is operating the government-subsidized FirstNet network for public safety agencies. The Santa Clara department has begun using FirstNet "as a supplement to Verizon to avoid future issues," the Los Angeles Times reported.

Verizon today said it should still be a top choice for public safety departments:

Sacramento Bee: Capitol Alert: How many bills are left? + De León demands debate + Who’s up for sports betting, craps?

Sacramento Bee


By Bryan Anderson

TWEET OF THE DAY

Assemblyman Marc Levine (@MarcLevine) — “When journalists are called the enemy, we must take the side of the free press. Here’s my proposal to bolster local news: 1. Eliminate the sales tax on newspapers 2. Counter Trump’s tariffs on newsprint 3. Freeze layoffs before and after the sale of newspapers.”


CALmatters: Legislature has been snuffing out bills that aim to help insured homeowners in wildfire country

CALmatters


By Antoinette Siu

Jen Burt lives with her husband and two kids in the woods not far from Grass Valley, in a four-bedroom foothill house in a stand of black oak and cedar trees. Tucked away on a private road, the five-acre spread is a hallmark California dream—and a potential California nightmare: It’s in wildfire country. Last February, Burt’s insurer of six years canceled her fire insurance. The scramble for new coverage was pricey and harrowing.

Now, like a lot of rural homeowners, Burt is hoping for a solution in the form of wildfire legislation. Of the more than 13.6 million homes in the state, about a third are in or near areas vulnerable to wildfire, and many homeowners are having trouble finding or keeping their fire insurance.

J Weekly: Trip to jittery Israel an eye-opener for California assemblymembers

J Weekly


By Elissa Einhorn

Protests over a controversial new nation-state law. The denial of surrogacy rights to same-sex couples. Firebomb kites from Gaza. The shooting down of a Syrian jet.

Just another week in Israel.

However, all of the above happened to occur when nine California lawmakers — most of them first-time visitors — toured the Jewish state as part of a special delegation led by Assemblymember Marc Levine of San Rafael.

KTVU Fox 2: State assembly approves bill to combat 'underinsurance' issues for wildfire victims

KTVU Fox 2


The California State Assembly approved a bill Thursday to combat "underinsurance" issues revealed by the devastating 2017 wine country wildfires. The bill will move on to the governor's desk.

AB 1797, introduced by Assemblymember Marc Levine, would create a requirement for insurers writing residential property policies to conduct a replacement-cost estimate every other year.

"We heard from wildfire survivors about the devastating realization of being underinsured due to inaccurate or outdated replacement-cost models used by insurers," Levine said in a statement. After a fire, "Californians should not have to begin the recovery process underinsured," he said.

Capital Public Radio: Many Homes Destroyed In Wildfires Aren’t Rebuilt Due To Insufficient Insurance. A New Bill Could Change That.

Capital Public Radio


By Chris Nichols

California’s wildfires have destroyed thousands of homes in recent years. But in an awful shock after the fact, many homeowners find their insurance doesn’t come close to covering the full cost of replacing their home.

Democratic Assemblyman Marc Levine of Marin County said his bill, AB 1797, could take away some of that secondary shock.

The legislation, now on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk, would better inform homeowners about the full replacement costs they face following a wildfire or other disaster.

“What we’re asking insurance companies to do is to provide replacement cost estimates for the full coverage of a home to make sure policyholders are informed of any gaps in insurance that they may have,” Levine said.