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South Coast Legislator's Plan To Protect Nursing Home Residents From Power Outages Gets Key Approval

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A proposal by Democratic State Senator Hanna-Beth Jackson would require nursing homes to have backup power for 96 hours, in case of public safety power shutoffs intended to prevent brush fires. This is the 2017 Thomas Fire burning in Ventura County.

A proposal by a Santa Barbara legislator to protect nursing home residents from intentional power blackouts meant to prevent brush fires has passed a key hurdle.

SB 1207 would require nursing home facilities to have generators, or other backup power systems to keep the lights on for at least 96 hours. The current state requirement is for a six hour power backup.   

Democratic State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson of Santa Barbara authored the bill, which was prompted by utilities conducting extended public safety power shutoffs during dangerous brush fire periods. 

It’s been passed by the State Senate, and now goes to the Assembly for consideration.  Jackson notes that some nursing home residents rely on electrically power life support systems.