California Insurance – Tinigard http://tinigard.info/ Fri, 04 Jun 2021 06:31:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.7.2 https://tinigard.info/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/default1-150x150.png California Insurance – Tinigard http://tinigard.info/ 32 32 Jim from Bree | Non-vaccination and insurance costs https://tinigard.info/jim-from-bree-non-vaccination-and-insurance-costs/ https://tinigard.info/jim-from-bree-non-vaccination-and-insurance-costs/#respond Fri, 04 Jun 2021 01:19:29 +0000 https://tinigard.info/jim-from-bree-non-vaccination-and-insurance-costs/ Many states are engaged in promotional activities to encourage people to get vaccinated. Obviously, we will not give up on COVID-19 until we achieve collective immunity, but a significant part of the anti-vaccine sentiment of the population may prevent the achievement of collective immunity. These promotional activities may seem trivial, but in addition to health […]]]>


Many states are engaged in promotional activities to encourage people to get vaccinated. Obviously, we will not give up on COVID-19 until we achieve collective immunity, but a significant part of the anti-vaccine sentiment of the population may prevent the achievement of collective immunity.

These promotional activities may seem trivial, but in addition to health concerns, there are financial reasons behind these efforts. As you will see when renewing your health insurance next fall, the pandemic has resulted in a significant increase in medical costs, which could lead to higher premiums. Treatment for COVID-19 is costly for those who need hospitalization and for long-haul carriers who experience long-term health issues after being infected with COVID-19.

These costs will certainly be included in the cost of obtaining health insurance in the years to come.

People vaccinated are less likely to need hospitalization or other expensive treatment with COVID-19. Instead, when the next wave arrives, unvaccinated people will bear the brunt of COVID-19 cases and bear most of the COVID-19 treatment costs. Recent studies show that the incidence of the new COVID-19 is currently mainly in unvaccinated people. It can almost be avoided with a simple vaccination.

Therefore, those who are not vaccinated will increase the cost of medical care for everyone. Perhaps a better incentive for vaccination would be to place the unvaccinated person in a separate insurance risk group or to place an additional burden on health insurance premiums.

I believe that the best way to reduce the costs of health care and benefit insurers is generally to have a large, comprehensive insurance pool that spreads the risk over the entire population and allows for discounts on purchases in large. But if a part of the population is deliberately ignoring social attempts to ameliorate infectious diseases, why shouldn’t they bear the economic consequences of their actions?

Historically, some have argued that people with poor health, such as smoking and overeating, should charge higher premiums or be placed in a separate insurance risk group to avoid unhealthy behavior. I have always believed that this is a slippery slope that can be manipulated to maximize the profits of insurers at the expense of consumers. I was therefore reluctant to embark on this path.

However, COVID-19 is different. Unlike obesity, the disease can spread without vaccination. Obesity and smoking are not infectious diseases. Additionally, if COVID-19 continues to appear in the majority of the unvaccinated population, it is more likely to mutate into vaccine-resistant mutants, putting those vaccinated at risk. Will be done.

The segment of unvaccinated people who are not insured or covered by Medicaid and do not pay their premiums will likely be offered another financial incentive to get vaccinated. There is a possibility that

What I have written here contradicts my historical view on health care funding, but the need to gain herd immunity against COVID-19 is so great that so far the existing medical funding. ideas that are incompatible with the delivery mechanism.

Jim de Bree is a semi-retired CPA living in Valencia.

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New home toughening and real estate disclosures in the defensible space in California | South Lake Tahoe https://tinigard.info/new-home-toughening-and-real-estate-disclosures-in-the-defensible-space-in-california-south-lake-tahoe/ https://tinigard.info/new-home-toughening-and-real-estate-disclosures-in-the-defensible-space-in-california-south-lake-tahoe/#respond Thu, 03 Jun 2021 07:21:03 +0000 https://tinigard.info/new-home-toughening-and-real-estate-disclosures-in-the-defensible-space-in-california-south-lake-tahoe/ View full picture Defensible Space SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif .– Those who live around Lake Tahoe know the danger of fire, but those who buy homes may not always be aware of the extreme severity of this danger in a house in the middle of a forest. . Beginning at the start of the year, […]]]>


SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif .– Those who live around Lake Tahoe know the danger of fire, but those who buy homes may not always be aware of the extreme severity of this danger in a house in the middle of a forest. .

Beginning at the start of the year, the seller of a home in a designated high fire area built before 2010 must now disclose to the buyer the ownership conditions that make the home vulnerable to forest fires. Sellers must now provide buyers with a notice that includes instructions on how to burn hardened houses and a list of any specific house features that the seller knows could make the house vulnerable to wildfires and embers. flying. The list may include materials such as untreated wood shingles, single-pane windows, and combustible landscaping near the house.

Now, on July 1, another new disclosure will be required to define a home’s defensible space. Sellers are required to provide buyers with documentation that the property complies with defensible space laws. While there are no laws on these matters in Lake Tahoe at the moment, insurance companies are certainly reviewing what has been done.

“Tahoe is certainly using this disclosure to help educate all new buyers and sellers in the Tahoe area,” said Kili Rahbeck, president of the South Tahoe Association of REALTORS®. “Due to Tahoe’s high fire danger throughout the region, this is a great disclosure to help answer some questions regarding the high fire danger we find ourselves in. This disclosure has become necessary. for all homes that close after July 1 and some brokerage firms have started making this required disclosure well in advance of the July 1 deadline. “

Longtime, full-time local owners know the forest fire risks after experiencing the Angora fire in 2007 and the dozens of major fires outside the Lake Tahoe Basin in recent years .

Living With Fire, a collaborative education and outreach program founded in 1997 by the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and supported by members of the Tahoe Fire and Fuels team, provided volumes of educational materials for residents to integrate for creating a safer home and community (see the ten-topic “how-to” series on South Tahoe Now).

Even if you don’t sell or buy a home in Lake Tahoe, hardening the home and creating a defensible space are still important tools for a safer home. Local fire departments and agencies will provide inspections and advice on what needs to be done.

“It is strongly recommended that all sellers find out if their home has any fire resistance characteristics before putting it on the market so that it is an easy and smooth process for them and the buyers,” said Rahbeck. “With that in mind, it hasn’t changed the way sellers sell their homes, but it’s certainly starting to be great information for home buyers and home insurance companies. By requiring the seller to complete this statement before they sell. putting the house on the market, this could potentially help a buyer purchase home insurance.Some of the home’s fire-curing features that can make the home vulnerable to forest fires and flying embers are the front ventilation roofs, soffits and roof, wood shingle roof coverings and landscaping, single pane or non-tempered glass windows, bird stops or loose or missing roof flashings and gutters no metal or non-combustible gutter covers Due to the high fire risk in Tahoe we luckily see a lot of vendors going through these checkpoints whereas they started to secure their house against the fire with the realization of the Angora fire in 2007. »




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States and municipalities differ widely on the application for immunization status https://tinigard.info/states-and-municipalities-differ-widely-on-the-application-for-immunization-status/ https://tinigard.info/states-and-municipalities-differ-widely-on-the-application-for-immunization-status/#respond Wed, 02 Jun 2021 12:05:09 +0000 https://tinigard.info/states-and-municipalities-differ-widely-on-the-application-for-immunization-status/ Employers trying to regain a sense of normalcy and bring employees back to the workplace face legal questions regarding proof of vaccination, medical confidentiality and issues of discrimination, legal experts say. While federal guidelines allow employers to question workers about their status and remove social distancing and mask requirements for fully immunized employees, states and […]]]>


Employers trying to regain a sense of normalcy and bring employees back to the workplace face legal questions regarding proof of vaccination, medical confidentiality and issues of discrimination, legal experts say.

While federal guidelines allow employers to question workers about their status and remove social distancing and mask requirements for fully immunized employees, states and municipalities have put in place decrees and laws that vary widely. , ranging from the obligation for employers to follow vaccinations to the prohibition to ask workers and customers about their status.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said in guidelines released Friday that in most cases, employers can require their workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Employers are trying to separate the legal from the practice and how they’re going to comply with these rules,” said Wendy Lazerson, San Francisco and San Jose-based co-chair of the Labor and Employment practice group of Sidley Austin LLP, on a topic that “is changing faster than I think in any field we’ve ever seen.”

In Washington, the state Department of Labor and Industry said in late May that employers can relax mask and social distancing mandates for vaccinated workers, requiring employers to verify and record status by verifying vaccination cards or by obtaining a signed certificate from the worker, and by doing so this information is made available to the ministry on request.

“Requiring an employer to ask an employee for their private medical information and then effectively making them the state’s enforcement arm for immunization compliance” is ethically questionable, said Mark Harmsworth, director of small businesses. Seattle-based companies from the conservative Washington Policy Center think tank. . He said the requirement would be difficult for small businesses that did not have the resources to keep these types of records and that he feared the mandate would “erode trust between (employers) and employees.”

Likewise, Santa Clara County, California, home to Silicon Valley, issued an order in mid-May requiring employers to ask all employees, contractors and volunteers who work on-site to disclose their status. vaccine. Employers are also required to follow up every two weeks under the order with employees who are not vaccinated or who refuse to share their status, Ms. Lazerson said.

“It’s going to take some administrative maneuvering to put systems in place and try to make sure they keep track… of how they’re going to keep the information stored,” she said. “There is a lot to think about.”

On the other side of the spectrum, Montana’s HB 702 law, enacted on May 7, prohibits employers from discriminating against an employee based on their immunization status, with a few exceptions for healthcare facilities and retirement homes.

“In theory, if you discriminate against someone based on their immunization status, that person could file a discrimination charge with the state agency that enforces Montana state discrimination law,” said Brett Coburn, Atlanta-based partner, Alston & Bird LLP. State employers may want to think twice before asking unvaccinated workers to mask themselves to avoid treating workers differently depending on whether or not they have been vaccinated, he said.

“It puts (employers) in the position of choosing between two extremes – sticking to the health and safety measures that have been in place for several months now for everyone or removing them for everyone,” said Mr. Coburn.

Employers in states with immunization registration mandates may inadvertently face charges of discriminating against those who cannot be vaccinated due to a disability or sincere religious belief, according to the report. the experts.

Employers should also take into account some of the peer pressure issues that might arise between vaccinated and unvaccinated workers and be careful to treat all workers equally and not, for example, give preferential treatment to workers. fully vaccinated workers, said Lindsay DiSalvo, Washington-based associate of Conn. Maciel Carey LLP.

“Employers just need to be careful how they implement these policies and make sure they don’t treat people differently beyond these safety issues,” she said.

More news on insurance and workplace accidents on the coronavirus crisis here.



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Department of Behavioral Health Confirms Increase in Fentanyl in Local Opioid Overdose Deaths https://tinigard.info/department-of-behavioral-health-confirms-increase-in-fentanyl-in-local-opioid-overdose-deaths/ https://tinigard.info/department-of-behavioral-health-confirms-increase-in-fentanyl-in-local-opioid-overdose-deaths/#respond Tue, 01 Jun 2021 18:34:40 +0000 https://tinigard.info/department-of-behavioral-health-confirms-increase-in-fentanyl-in-local-opioid-overdose-deaths/ Author: Behavioral Health Date: 06/01/2021 11:26:53 AM The Behavioral Health Department has confirmed that opioid overdose deaths have increased 62% since 2016 in San Luis Obispo County, with an alarming increase in the presence of fentanyl in those deaths as well. The Behavioral Health Department has confirmed that opioid overdose deaths have increased 62% since […]]]>


Author: Behavioral Health

Date: 06/01/2021 11:26:53 AM

The Behavioral Health Department has confirmed that opioid overdose deaths have increased 62% since 2016 in San Luis Obispo County, with an alarming increase in the presence of fentanyl in those deaths as well.


The Behavioral Health Department has confirmed that opioid overdose deaths have increased 62% since 2016 in San Luis Obispo County, with an alarming increase in the presence of fentanyl in those deaths as well. In 2020, 34 of 55 opioid overdose deaths included fentanyl, compared to 6 of 34 opioid overdose deaths in 2016, including fentanyl (SLO County Coroner’s Office, 2020). This is the first year that fentanyl was present in more than half of opioid-related overdose deaths.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid which is 100 times more potent than morphine and 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin. It is used in healthcare to relieve pain in critically ill or injured patients, such as those with cancer or recovering from surgery. Fentanyl is also manufactured and sold illegally outside of healthcare settings. This illegal fentanyl comes in powder or other forms, including pills that look like prescription drugs. It is sometimes mixed with other drugs, including heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, with or without the user’s knowledge. Because fentanyl is so strong, a tiny amount can prevent a person from breathing. Please click HERE for more information on fentanyl.

83%fentanyl_chart.PNG of opioid overdose deaths in 2020 were categorized as “multiple drug intoxication”, meaning that several drugs have been identified by toxicology reports. These recent reports show that fentanyl has been mixed with other opioids, stimulants such as methamphetamine and cocaine, and prescription drugs such as Xanax. In 32% of fentanyl-related opioid overdose deaths, fentanyl was the only opioid identified among other non-opioid substances. People who use counterfeit prescription stimulants or pills may be less aware of the risks and signs of an opioid overdose, and less likely to have medication available to reverse the overdose.

“Our hearts are with those who have lost loved ones to an overdose,” said Dr. Penny Borenstein, San Luis Obispo County Medical Officer of Health. “We want everyone to know: The illicit fentanyl is here in San Luis Obispo County and carries a high risk of overdose. Any drug you buy on the street can be contaminated with lethal levels of fentanyl.

The safest course of action is not to use illicit drugs. Although it is impossible to eliminate the risk of overdose if you use street drugs, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk:

Get naloxone. If you or a loved one uses street drugs – opioids, stimulants, counterfeit pills – take naloxone and learn how to use it. Naloxone (also known by its brand name Narcan) is a drug that can reverse an opioid overdose. It is not addictive, has virtually no side effects, and has no potential for abuse as it produces no high effects. It is not a controlled substance. It comes as a nasal spray or injection and can be safely given to anyone who is suspected of having overdosed. Naloxone only works on opioids in the brain and will not affect a person without opioids in their system. See the attached list for where to get low cost or free naloxone in SLO County.

Consider testing for fentanyl. Fentanyl test strips are used to test for the presence or absence of fentanyl and many fentanyl analogues (very closely related drugs) in the illicit drug supply. These test strips are not entirely accurate (in part because illegally manufactured fentanyl varies in its chemical makeup), but offer some information. In general, a negative result cannot rule out the possibility that fentanyl is present, but a positive result means that fentanyl is present. It is safer to assume that any illicit drug may contain traces of fentanyl. Test strips are available for purchase commercially or supplied through the Bangers SLO Syringe exchange and overdose prevention program.

Know the signs of overdose and be ready to call 911. Signs of overdose include small constricted “point” pupils; falling asleep or losing consciousness; slow, shallow breathing; choking or gurgling sounds; soft body; and pale, blue, or cold skin. If you are not sure, it is safer to treat the situation as a potential overdose. Call 911, administer naloxone (if you have it), and don’t leave the person alone. The California Good Samaritan Law 9-1-1, AB 472, implemented on January 1, 2013, protects the alleged overdose victim from arrest or summons for possession or use of a controlled substance. The law states that it should not be a crime for a person to be under the influence of, or to possess for personal use, a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia, drug-related overdose if that person seeks medical assistance for the drug-related overdose. Law enforcement cannot make an arrest unless: the drug sale has taken place the drug was administered against the will of the person or the person being driven under the influence.

Connect with treatment. The County Drug & Alcohol Services team offers services to support recovery and can also help connect residents to other treatment programs. To learn more, visit Drug & Alcohol Services or call 800-838-1381.

If you would like to get involved in the fight against opioid overdose and abuse in SLO County, you are welcome to join the SLO Opioid Safety Coalition. Since January 2016, this group has worked together on practical measures to tackle the opioid epidemic on the central coast. This group is led by a diverse coalition of community members, including county behavioral and public health departments, law enforcement, physicians, pharmacists, treatment professionals, educators, community members, recoverers and others.

Where can you get naloxone in SLO County?

In case of emergency suspected of overdose, CALL 911 and GIVE NALOXONE ASAP, this is the best chance to save lives! Naloxone is available free or at low cost nationwide, including in confidential or anonymous settings. It is fully covered (free) by Medi-Cal and is fully or partially covered by most insurances. It is available for people who use opioids for any reason and for those who know someone who uses them.

FREE & CONFIDENTIAL access to naloxone is available to all community members Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at one of the four County Drug & Alcohol Services centers in Paso Robles, Atascadero, San Luis Obispo and Grover Beach. Click HERE for clinic locations. The SLO Bangers Syringe Exchange and Overdose Prevention Program also offers FREE and CONFIDENTIAL distribution of naloxone to all community members on Wednesday evenings from 5:30 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. in San Luis Obispo. Call 805-458-0123 for more information or come see us Wednesdays 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at 2191 Johnson Ave, parking lot near Bishop Street.

In California, pharmacists are allowed to dispense naloxone without a prescription if they have completed the required training. Most large retail pharmacies can dispense naloxone without a prescription, although it is advisable to call ahead to make sure the licensed pharmacist is there and the naloxone is in stock. Ask your healthcare professional for a prescription or see a list of local pharmacies that offer naloxone without a prescription below. Individual co-payments for naloxone vary depending on the insurance. It’s free with Medi-Cal.

  • CVS Pharmacy – all CA locations (including those located at Target)
  • Rite Aid Pharmacy – All CA Locations
  • Wal-Mart Pharmacy – All CA Locations
  • Walgreens Pharmacy – All CA Locations
  • Vons Pharmacy – All CA Locations
  • Costco Pharmacy – must be a Costco member
  • Cayucos pharmacy
  • Cal Poly Health Services – must be a student at Cal Poly
  • Nipomo Rexall Pharmacy



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Some San Franciscans hesitate as mayor lobbies for permanent catering parklets https://tinigard.info/some-san-franciscans-hesitate-as-mayor-lobbies-for-permanent-catering-parklets/ https://tinigard.info/some-san-franciscans-hesitate-as-mayor-lobbies-for-permanent-catering-parklets/#respond Mon, 31 May 2021 00:15:21 +0000 https://tinigard.info/some-san-franciscans-hesitate-as-mayor-lobbies-for-permanent-catering-parklets/ SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) – The fate of San Francisco’s alfresco dining remains unresolved after a county committee postponed a vote to create a permanent parklet authorization system. The delay angered the Mayor of London Breed, who threatened to take his own action if the supervisory board did not approve the measure quickly. “The board of […]]]>


SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) – The fate of San Francisco’s alfresco dining remains unresolved after a county committee postponed a vote to create a permanent parklet authorization system.

The delay angered the Mayor of London Breed, who threatened to take his own action if the supervisory board did not approve the measure quickly.

“The board of directors got the wrong mayor,” Mayor Breed said at a press conference on Tuesday.

She strongly supports making the shared spaces program permanent, which has allowed struggling restaurants and bars to expand their seating capacity to sidewalks and parking spaces. If the supervisory board does not adopt a permanent policy soon, she has threatened to take the issue to voters by placing it on the ballot.

RELATED: Parklets Forever? California bill could make outdoor dining easier after pandemic

Although the program enjoys wide support from many restaurateurs and diners, what was designed to be a temporary program has sparked debate on issues of parking, accessibility and safety.

Early Saturday morning, a car crashed in the park owned by Horsefeather, a restaurant on Divisadero Street, damaging both ends of the structure.

“It was definitely reckless driving,” said Dzu Nguyen, the general manager.

No one was in the park at the time, but he acknowledges that there are some safety issues that should be addressed.

RELATED: Permanent Outdoor Dining Parklets in SF? Why not everyone is on board

“They were built quickly for sure,” he said of the city’s over 2,000 parks being quickly established. “There were some necessary safety restrictions that should have been in place from the start, but that’s okay. I think we’re in a position where we’re learning how to do this better.”

He said they had insurance and were planning to rebuild, themselves adding more security measures.

The County Planning and Transportation Committee is expected to review the new measure on June 7.

VACCINE TRACKER: How’s California, when we can get the coronavirus vaccine

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Festivals face ‘lost summer’ due to lack of government insurance plan – report https://tinigard.info/festivals-face-lost-summer-due-to-lack-of-government-insurance-plan-report/ https://tinigard.info/festivals-face-lost-summer-due-to-lack-of-government-insurance-plan-report/#respond Sat, 29 May 2021 06:10:32 +0000 https://tinigard.info/festivals-face-lost-summer-due-to-lack-of-government-insurance-plan-report/ M US festivals face the prospect of another ‘lost summer’ over the government’s decision not to introduce a coronavirus insurance plan, a report concluded. The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMS) report on the future of the UK summer circuit said the government had “refused to take multiple opportunities” to address concerns of the […]]]>


M

US festivals face the prospect of another ‘lost summer’ over the government’s decision not to introduce a coronavirus insurance plan, a report concluded.

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMS) report on the future of the UK summer circuit said the government had “refused to take multiple opportunities” to address concerns of the organizers.

The document, the result of a consultation with artists, organizers and industry leaders, calls on ministers to introduce a time-limited insurance scheme for events scheduled after June 21 – when social distancing measures must take end – in case they are disturbed. by a return to Covid-19 restrictions.

Boomtown Fair, on the Matterley Estate in Hampshire, is among the events that canceled their 2021 editions, blaming pandemic uncertainty and the lack of a government-backed insurance scheme.

Glastonbury Festival 2019 – Day 2 / PA Archive

In the report, MPs said they were “not convinced” that the pilot concerts held as part of the events research program, which included the Brit Awards, would provide the necessary evidence in time to lift all the issues. restrictions on live events from June 21.

They said that festivals were “one-stop-shops” but were “forgotten” during the first round of pilot projects.

“We warmly welcome the decision, following our questioning of the Minister, to conduct a festival-type pilot project at the beginning of May; However, a one-day event for 5,000 people does not cover the full range of UK festivals and therefore further pilot projects may be needed, ”they said.

The report also warns of a possible increase in drug-related deaths at festivals this summer.

“We are very concerned that a compressed festival season, the likely circulation of high concentration adulterated drugs and increased risk-taking after the lockdown will lead to an increase in drug-related deaths at festivals this summer.” , did he declare.

The report urges the government to change legislation to allow drug control services, such as those run by The Loop, to function legally.

Elsewhere, MPs have criticized the festival industry for failing to meet its environmental targets.

They said, “Despite the good intentions and countless initiatives to reduce the environmental impacts of festivals, the growth of the market has undermined the industry’s efforts to reduce global emissions, and the legacy of the pandemic poses an additional threat to the environment. these measures.”

There’s still time to get the music playing, but no more room for excuses

The committee recommends that, before the 2023 season, the government put in place standardized environmental goals that local authorities should adopt when licensing festivals and report regularly to DCMS.



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State Lawmakers to Attorney General: Probe PG&E Fire Victim Trust https://tinigard.info/state-lawmakers-to-attorney-general-probe-pge-fire-victim-trust/ https://tinigard.info/state-lawmakers-to-attorney-general-probe-pge-fire-victim-trust/#respond Fri, 28 May 2021 18:58:47 +0000 https://tinigard.info/state-lawmakers-to-attorney-general-probe-pge-fire-victim-trust/ Lily jamali | KQED A bipartisan group of state lawmakers have asked California Attorney General Rob Bonta to investigate the expenses and administration of the PG&E Fire Victim Trust. The request comes after a KQED survey overheads of the Trust, which was created as part of a bankruptcy settlement in December 2019 between the utility […]]]>


Lily jamali | KQED

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers have asked California Attorney General Rob Bonta to investigate the expenses and administration of the PG&E Fire Victim Trust.

The request comes after a KQED survey overheads of the Trust, which was created as part of a bankruptcy settlement in December 2019 between the utility and nearly 70,000 victims of fires caused by PG&E equipment.

The survey found that the Trust spent nearly 90% of outgoing funds on overhead last year, while the vast majority of fire victims awaited help.

“We urge you to use the full authority of your office to review recent fund expenditures and the fund administrators,” said the letter, which was signed by 11 state senators and assembly members representing areas affected by the PG&E fires between 2015 and 2018.

“We hear from residents every week who have been waiting two years for their settlement payments. Their lives are on hold until they receive these dollars, ”said Senator Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, whose district includes parts of Sonoma County.

“This is unacceptable. This is blatant and this must change, and that is why we are asking the trustee to speed up payments to fire survivors in northern California, ”he added.

State Assembly Member James Gallagher, a Republican who represents the fire-ravaged town of Paradise, was first announced last week on KQED Forum that he and his colleagues were preparing a letter calling for more transparency. KQED’s investigation “raises many questions and concerns that require answers,” said Gallagher. Other signatories include State Senator Bill Dodd, D-Napa, Assemblyman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters and State Senator Jim Nielsen, R-Tehama, all of whom have voters injured by the fires caused by PG&E equipment and are awaiting compensation.

KQED found that the Fire Victim Trust accumulated $ 51 million in overheads last year, while $ 7 million was distributed to fire victims during that time. The investigation was based on an analysis of files filed by federal bankruptcy court, court transcripts and correspondence between the Fire Victim Trust and victims of the fires. Most of the overhead, $ 16.3 million, went to claims processor fees and expenses, and $ 12.7 million to start-up costs. Another $ 6.8 million went to an item described as “insurance, data and other expenses” – almost as much as the fire victims themselves.

“It’s outrageous,” lawmakers wrote to Bonta, “especially in light of the fact that thousands of fire victims are struggling to rebuild their lives.”

In response to a KQED investigation, Bonta’s office said the attorney general would not comment – even to confirm or deny – a potential investigation.

Members of Congress have also expressed outrage at the pace of payments to victims of the fires. In separate emails, Representative Mike Thompson, a D-St. Helena, and Representative Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale, both called for faster payments.

The pace of payments has accelerated in recent weeks. According to the most recent data available, the trust had distributed $ 255.4 million as of May 19. Yet only 565 of the nearly 70,000 people had their claims processed and paid, according to the data. While the Trust collects all of its fees, these families receive 30% of what is owed to them. This is in part the result of the terms of PG&E’s settlement agreement with the victims of the fires. The company funds the trust, half with cash and the other with PG&E shares. Today, the Fire Victim Trust owns almost a quarter of the shares of PG&E.

A court record showed the Fire Victim Trust trustee, retired California Court of Appeals Judge John Trotter, billed the Fire Victim Trust $ 1,500 an hour. In a video released last week, he said he now earns $ 150,000 a month. All overheads come from funds earmarked for fire victims.

Courtesy of KQED

The Trust did not offer comment for this story and declined all interview requests from KQED over the past month.

In his video post, Trotter acknowledged the frustration of fire victims even as he anticipated further delays.

“We’re still working on this,” Trotter said. “We’re not near the top yet. We’re making progress. We’re getting there. Go much faster.”

Fire victims say this is not enough.

Earlier this month, retired Police Chief Kirk Trostle wrote to U.S. bankruptcy judge Dennis Montali to demand more transparency from the Trust.

“Families still live in cars, travel trailers and FEMA trailers,” wrote Trostle, who lost her home in Paradise in 2018, in a letter citing KQED reporting.

Over the past weekend, around 100 Camp Fire survivors staged a rally in Paradise to express their frustration, saying survivors have a right to know exactly where all of the Trust’s administrative funds are going.

“I thought I was healing,” said Teri Lindsay, whose daughter, Erika, wiped away tears as she watched. “Until this report was released, it changed my life and brought me back to the day. I had no idea how well paid they were and we still live in poverty.


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