Legislature Convenes Joint Hearing on Extreme Heat Emergency

The California Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management on Thursday convened an informational hearing to assess the state’s extreme heat emergency. Senator Henry Stern, chair of the joint committee, opened the hearing by highlighting concerning trends in extreme heat and wildfires in the state of California, largely exacerbated by impacts of climate change. Assembly Member Freddie Rodriguez similarly provided opening remarks and identified the series of human health-related impacts of extreme heat.

The hearing featured an update from the Newsom Administration on California’s Extreme Heat Action Plan from officials in the California Natural Resources Agency and Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR). The second panel of the hearing explored the human costs of extreme heat, including the disproportionate impacts of extreme weather conditions on vulnerable populations. Representatives from various advocacy and community-based entities, including Climate Resolve and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, discussed the various health and mental health impacts of extreme heat on Californians.

The hearing’s third panel featured a focus on extreme heat prevention and response and included representatives from local government and advocacy organizations. The final panel of the hearing included state officials responsible for response to extreme heat emergencies, including the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). CDPH Deputy Director of the Office of Health Equity Dr. Rohan Radhakrishna highlighted the impacts of extreme heat on state residents, the role of CDPH in responding to such emergencies, and proposed investments related to climate health.

The full hearing agenda is available here. Background materials are available here. A video recording of the hearing is available here.