EXECUTIVE ORDER S-11-08


WHEREAS on October 13, 2008, I proclaimed a State of Emergency to exist in the Counties of Los Angeles and Ventura, and on October 15, 2008 I proclaimed a State of Emergency to exist in the County of San Bernardino, all as a result of wind-driven wildfires in Southern California; and

WHEREAS these fires have caused harm to people and property, including one confirmed death, thousands of acres burned, thousands of persons displaced, and numerous homes and other structures destroyed; and

WHEREAS these fires have caused the loss of valuable personal and business records; and

WHEREAS those who have lost or sustained damage to their homes, property, businesses or places of employment, may need to obtain or replace important government records such as certificates of birth, death, fetal death, or marriage, as well as marriage dissolution records, driver's licenses, identification cards, vehicle registration certificates, and certificates of title, to obtain assistance from federal, state and local governmental agencies, make claims for and collect insurance, find new employment, and for other purposes related to losses suffered in the fires; and

WHEREAS those who need to obtain or replace important government records to mitigate their losses and rebuild their lives as a consequence of the wildfire disaster require immediate assistance from state and local governmental agencies to replace those records; and

WHEREAS existing law requires the Office of Vital Records of the Department of Public Health, along with local registrars, county recorders and county clerks, to impose fees upon persons requesting copies of certificates of birth, death, fetal death, and marriage, and marriage dissolution records, and existing law requires the State Department of Motor Vehicles to impose fees upon persons requesting replacement driver's licenses, identification cards, vehicle registration certificates, and certificates of title; and

WHEREAS existing law requires the State Department of Motor Vehicles to impose late fees on persons who are late in renewing their vehicle registration or late in transferring ownership of a vehicle; and

WHEREAS existing law requires the State Department of Housing and Community Development to impose fees on persons who are late in renewing their manufactured home registration or late in transferring ownership of a manufactured home; and

WHEREAS the suspension of statutory requirements for imposition of fees would assist fire victims; and

WHEREAS the State Employment Development Department and my Office of Emergency Services estimate that numerous workers are, or will be, unemployed as a result of the wildfire disaster and are in need of immediate financial assistance; and

WHEREAS the suspension of the statutory one-week waiting period for unemployment insurance applicants who are unemployed due to the wildfire disaster would provide these unemployed workers with immediate financial assistance; and

WHEREAS my Office of Emergency Services supported Local Assistance Centers during previous emergencies to coordinate and expedite disaster assistance by providing "one-stop" centers where those affected by an emergency may obtain all services provided by governmental and community organizations.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, Governor of the State of California, in accordance with the authority vested in me by the Constitution and statutes of the State of California, including the Emergency Services Act and in particular Government Code sections 8567 and 8571, do hereby issue this Executive Order, effective immediately, to mitigate the effects of the emergency due to the wildfires in the counties of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Ventura.

1. The provisions of Health and Safety Code sections 103525.5 and 103625, and the provisions of Penal Code section 14251, requiring the imposition of fees, are hereby suspended with regard to any request for copies of certificates of birth, death, fetal death, and marriage, or marriage dissolution records by any resident of the counties of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Ventura who suffered a loss of a family member, or who suffered loss or damage to property, business, or employment, as a result of the wildfires. Copies of certificates of birth, death, fetal death, and marriage, and marriage dissolution records, shall be provided to such persons without charge.

2. The provisions of Unemployment Insurance Code section 1253 imposing a one-week waiting period for unemployment insurance applicants are suspended as to all applicants who are unemployed as a result of the wildfire disaster in the counties of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Ventura, who apply for unemployment insurance benefits during the time period beginning October 12, 2008 and ending on the close of business on November 16, 2008, and who are otherwise eligible for unemployment insurance benefits in California.

3. Statutes, rules, regulations and requirements are hereby suspended to the extent they apply to the following activities: (a) removal, storage, transportation and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous debris resulting from the disaster, (b) necessary restoration, and (c) related activities. Such statutes, rules, regulations and requirements are suspended only to the extent necessary for expediting the removal and cleanup of debris from the disaster, and for implementing any restoration plan. The Secretary for the California Environmental Protection Agency, and the Secretary for the California Resources Agency, shall use sound discretion in applying this suspension to ensure that the suspension serves the purpose of accelerating cleanup and recovery, while at the same time protecting public health and the environment. The Secretaries shall maintain a public list of all statutes, rules, regulations and requirements that are suspended, and shall post the list prominently on their websites. This order shall apply to, but is not necessarily limited to, solid waste facility permits, and waste discharge requirements for storage, disposal, emergency timber harvesting, stream environment zones, emergency construction activities, along with waste discharge requirements and/or Water Quality Certification for discharges of fill material or pollutants. To the extent it is within their administrative authority and discretion, the boards, departments and offices within the California Environmental Protection Agency shall expedite the granting of other authorizations, waivers or permits necessary for the removal, storage, transportation and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous debris resulting from the fires, and for other actions necessary for the protection of public health and the environment.

4. Health and Safety Code section 18114, requiring the imposition of fees, is hereby suspended with regard to any late renewal of registration certificate or certificate of title for a manufactured home by any registered owner who lost these documents as a result of the wildfires. Those documents shall be replaced without charge.

5. The provisions of Vehicle Code sections 9265(a), 9867, 14901, 14902 and 15255.2, requiring the imposition of fees, are hereby suspended with regard to any request for replacement of a driver's license, identification card, vehicle registration certificate or certificate of title by any resident of the counties of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Ventura who suffered a loss of such documents as a result of the wildfires. A replacement driver's license, identification card, vehicle registration certificate, or certificate of title shall be provided to such persons without charge.

6. The provisions of Vehicle Code sections 4602 and 5902, requiring the timely registration or transfer of title, are hereby suspended with regard to any registration or transfer of title by any resident of the counties of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Ventura who suffered a loss of such registration or title documents as a result of the wildfires. The time covered by this suspension shall not be included in calculating any late penalty pursuant to Vehicle Code section 9554.

7. My Office of Emergency Services shall coordinate assistance programs offered by all relevant federal, state and local agencies and departments, including, but not limited to, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the California Conservation Corps, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Health Care Services, the Department of Mental Health, the Department of Social Services, the Department of Consumer Affairs, the Employment Development Department,

the Department of the Highway Patrol, the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Aging, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Insurance, and the Franchise Tax Board. 

8. My Office of Emergency Services will support Local Assistance Centers where needed to provide "one-stop" emergency assistance services to those affected by the wildfires in the counties of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Ventura.

9. All State agencies with responsibility, regulatory authority or expertise related to recovery efforts in connection with these fires shall cooperate fully and act expeditiously in coordination with the California Resources Agency and the California Environmental Protection Agency, to facilitate the mitigation of the effects of the fires and the environmental restoration of the affected areas.

IT IS FURTHER REQUESTED THAT the Franchise Tax Board and the Board of Equalization consider using their administrative powers where appropriate to provide those individuals and/or businesses impacted by the wildfires with extensions for filing, audits, billing, notices, assessments and relief from subsequent penalties.

This Executive Order is not intended to, and does not, create any rights or benefits, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity, against the State of California, its agencies, departments, entities, officers, employees, or any other person.

I FURTHER DIRECT that as soon as hereafter possible, this Order be filed in the Office of the Secretary of State and that widespread publicity and notice be given of this Order.