Porter Ranch Gas Leak Forces Family of CA Secretary of State to Evacuate

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, a resident of Porter Ranch, says he was forced to move his wife and three young children to a Burbank hotel

California Gas Leak Porter Ranch
AP

The number of San Fernando Valley residents impacted by the natural gas leak in Aliso Canyon now includes that of the state's chief election officer.

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, a resident of Porter Ranch, says he was forced to move his wife and three young children to a Burbank hotel where they have been living for the past month and a half.

"We bought a home a year and a half ago, never imagining our American dream come true would be interrupted like this," Padilla said on NBC 4's News Conference.

Hundreds of homeowners in the Porter Ranch neighborhood are now in temporary housing following the rupture of a natural gas leak at the facility operated by Southern California Gas. Many say they have experienced headaches, nausea and other ailments as a result of the leak.

"Between the kids and my wife feeling some of the side effects we have heard in the news, not taking any chances with three little ones we are temporary dislocated... in the meantime we are in a hotel in Burbank and we are making do," Padilla said.

Padilla, who served in the California State Senate and the Los Angeles City Council, says the gas leak is an indication that more needs to be spent on the state's aging infrastructure.

"It is not just bridges, it's not just schools...but whether it is water or gas infrastructure it has to be maintained," Padilla said. "To know about what we don't know about methane leaks and the amount of gas that has come out of that Aliso Canyon facility is very concerning to me as a father and a husband."

Padilla appeared on the program to endorse Senate Bill 450 which he says would make advancements in achieving a higher voter turnout in statewide elections. The bill calls for ballots to automatically be sent by mail to registered voters and would allow for in-person "voting centers" where anyone in a particular county can cast a ballot without the need to visit a local poling station.

The polling centers would be open up to 10 days prior to the election. Padilla says the idea is based on a similar law in Colorado.

"It is the ultimate in voter choice, when, where and how to cast a ballot. They seem to be saving money in Colorado... so lower cost, higher turnout, it is a win-win," he said on the broadcast.

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