Obernolte Bill to Finalize Formation of the Big Bear Fire Authority Signed by Governor

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SACRAMENTO –Assemblyman Obernolte (R-Hesperia) announced today that his bill finalizing the formation of the Big Bear Fire Authority was signed by Governor Brown.

“The new Big Bear Fire Authority combines the various fire departments in our region, allowing the important fire service needs of our community to be addressed more effectively,” Assemblyman Obernolte said. “This bill fixes the final administrative issue that stood in the way of creating a fully consolidated fire service in the Big Bear area.”

AB 2004 fixes a pension consolidation issue for the newly created Big Bear Fire Authority to become a fully functioning agency. Specifically, this bill provides statutory authority for the transfer of employees to the new Authority, avoiding the trigger of a pension withdrawal liability and saving the Authority an estimated $27 million.

“This bill will save our department from having to spend millions of unnecessary dollars on overhead, money that is better spent protecting the people we serve and focusing on fire risk reduction,” said Jeff Willis, the Big Bear Fire Department Fire Chief. “We are very fortunate that Assemblyman Obernolte was able to help us clear this final bureaucratic burden so that we can more efficiently keep our community safe from fires.”

AB 2004 included an urgency clause so it takes effect immediately.

Assemblyman Jay Obernolte represents the 33rd Assembly District, which includes the San Bernardino County communities of Adelanto, Apple Valley, Baker, Barstow, Big Bear City, Big Bear Lake, Big River, Crestline, Fort Irwin, Hesperia, Johnson Valley, Lake Arrowhead, Lenwood, Lucerne Valley, Needles, Oak Hills, Phelan, Running Springs, Silver Lakes, Trona, Twentynine Palms Base, Twin Peaks and Victorville.

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