Gov. Jerry Brown will seek state funds to help establish a system that issues warnings that an earthquake is occurring.
The governor will ask the Legislature to allocate $10 million toward the early warning system being developed by the U.S. Geological Survey and university researchers.
The decision is a reversal for Brown. He has supported creation of the system, but previously argued that the money should come from only private and federal sources.
The funding would allow for a limited rollout of alerts by 2018, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The system is designed to provide residents with a few extra second to drop, cover and hold on, finding cover ahead of the shaking. It also would be designed to limit interruptions in power, gas and telecommunications operations. Surgeons and other medical field workers could suspend procedures and rail systems could be automatically shut down.
Fire station doors could automatically open, preventing damage that might slow response times.
Rep. Adam Schiff, who has championed the system, praised Brown's decision.
California trails Japan, Mexico and other earthquake-prone areas in developing a public alert system, which ideally would provide several seconds of warning after a fault ruptures.