Brian Maienschein speaks to the press on Wednesday, Image from livestream

Assemblyman Brian Maienschein on Wednesday urged California voters to approve Proposition 19 to aid people who lose their homes in wildfires.

“It’s a traumatic and difficult task to rebuild. This will make it a lot easier,” said Maienschein, whose district suffered during the 2003 Cedar Fire and the 2007 Witch Creek Fire.

He was a San Diego City Councilman at the time, and was directly involved in the local-government response to those devastating fires.

Maienschein was joined in a livestreamed press conference by Bob Ilko, who led rebuilding efforts in Rancho Bernardo, and Kristy Militello, who survived the 2017 Tubbs Fire in northern California and now lives in San Diego.

Proposition 19 would permit homeowners who are 55 or older, severely disabled, or whose homes were destroyed by wildfire or other disaster, to transfer their primary residence’s property tax base to a replacement residence anywhere in the state. At the same time, it will remove a loophole allowing family members to transfer residences between each other. The addition revenue from closing the loophole would creates a special fund for fire protections services.

Maienschein called the fund “a historic, dedicated fire fund that cannot be raided,” and noted that “we’re seeing more and more deadly fires year after year.”

The fund is expected to total $100 million in its first year.

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