SACRAMENTO – Legislation advanced from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, that would address the effects of climate change, including sea-level rise and wildfire, through creation of local resilience districts to undertake and promote conservation efforts.
“Our rapidly changing climate poses numerous challenges which we can confront with this legislation,” said Sen. Dodd. “By focusing on problems most relevant to their region, communities would be able to take direct action to make us safer and more resilient. Today we take another step toward addressing this pressing, existential threat.”
Sen. Dodd’s legislation, Senate Bill 852, would allow cities, counties or special districts, either alone or in combination, establish climate resilience financing districts to undertake projects and programs to address climate change including wildfire, sea level rise, extreme heat and cold, drought, flooding, and related matters. The districts would be able to raise revenue through tax increment funding, voter-approved supplemental property taxes, property benefit assessments or fees.
SB 852 passed the Senate Governance and Finance committee today with unanimous, bipartisan support. It heads next to the Senate Natural Resources and Water committee.
“Climate resilience districts will help communities prepare before a climate-intensified disaster by investing in natural protections that reduce future losses,” said California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, who issued a first-of-its-kind report in 2021 with environmental groups and researchers making 40 recommendations to strengthen community resilience. “I applaud Senator Dodd’s leadership on this important step towards reducing community wide risks and improving insurance availability and affordability in our state. Our climate insurance report put a focus on the need for reducing risks from climate-intensified disasters like floods and wildfires to better protect people and property.”
“SB 852 provides a focused yet flexible approach for local governments to take on the climate crisis; just what we need at this moment,” said Roger Dickinson, policy director of Civic Well, formerly the Local Government Commission, which is sponsoring the bill. “We’re gratified that the Senate Governance and Finance Committee agreed and approved the bill today and we’re grateful for the leadership Sen. Dodd has shown in championing this legislation.”
Link to Commissioner Lara’s report: https://www.insurance.ca.gov/cci/docs/climate-insurance-report.pdf
Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Yolo, Sonoma, Contra Costa, and Sacramento counties. You can learn more about the district and Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.