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Orange County Board of Supervisors Unanimously Approve Legislative Proposal Permitting County to Recover Actual Cost of Extraordinary Search or Rescue

(Orange County, CA) — The Orange County Board of Supervisors today unanimously approved a legislative proposal permitting the County to recover costs of extraordinary search or rescue from residents, age sixteen or older, who, by wanton or reckless conduct, caused the need for the County’s search or rescue. Currently, California law does not allow a county to recover costs of a search or rescue in such situations.

"Taxpayer funded searches and rescues are intended for accidents, not for 'on purposes' that are a result of negligence or criminal activity," Spitzer said. "Individuals who recklessly put themselves and others in danger should pay the cost for such rescues. Innocent taxpayers should not bear the burden of these exorbitant costs."

The proposed legislation is modeled after former Government Code sections 26614.6 and 26614.7, which sunset on January 1, 1999.

Assemblyman Don Wagoer has agreed to carry this legislation in Sacramento. "I am pleased to partner with the Orange County Board of Supervisors to introduce this important piece of legislation," Assembly Member Don Wagner said.  "Communities should not be required to forfeit their emergency services funds due to one individual's thoughtless actions, and together, we will ensure that communities will once again be protected through reimbursement requirements."

This proposed legislation will ensure that any government entity is reimbursed from those who act in violation of any federal or state law or local ordinance and necessitates the use of emergency services.