SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – The 53 U.S. House members from California have joined together to request $4.4 billion in federal aid to recover from October’s destructive wildfires.
It’s a rare bipartisan call for action following the deadliest fires in state history, which killed 44 people and destroyed 8,800 structures. The delegation sent its letter Friday to leaders of the House Appropriations Committee.
The state’s new $4.4 billion request is down from the $7.4 billion sought by Gov. Jerry Brown and California Democrats last month. California Republicans had asked President Donald Trump to provide aid without specifying an amount.
The state lowered its request from the U.S. Department of Agriculture by $3 billion.
A state official says the $3 billion decrease in California’s request for federal wildfire aid represents a more accurate picture of what damage federal programs will actually cover.
Office of Emergency Services Deputy Director Kelly Huston says it’s routine to modify requests for federal money following disasters.
The state originally asked for $3.1 billion from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but now wants just $150 million. Huston says the initial estimate included future economic and other losses that aren’t eligible for federal programs. He says federal aid is just one piece of California’s recovery efforts.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.