September 2018 District Report
As harvest time approaches, Gov. Brown signs bills ahead of the Sept. 30 deadline. Already, a number of my bills have become law while others await the governor’s pen.
Among the most significant pieces to be signed is my wildfire safety legislation. Senate Bill 901 boosts the state’s forest management activities, updates requirements for maintenance and operation of utility infrastructure to reflect climate change and protects ratepayers from bearing unfair costs.
The governor called SB 901 “absolutely necessary” to prevent future wildfires.
Meanwhile, I am hosting a number of events in the district, starting with a Sept. 28 Senior Issues Forum in Napa. I’ll host a Fire Prevention and Remembrance Forum in Calistoga Oct. 9 and a Transportation issues forum Oct. 15 in American Canyon.
As always, I’m eager to hear your ideas and available to get what you need from our state agencies. You can contact me by visiting my website or by calling my offices.
In this Issue:
- Legislative Update: Insurance Reform & Consumer Protections
- ‘Fake News’ and Media Literacy Education Forum at UC Davis
- Delta Watershed Protection Week Video
- Child Passenger Safety Week
- In The News
Senator, 3rd District
This has been a productive legislative session, especially for my wildfire-related bills. In addition to SB 901, the governor signed SB 969, which requires all new or newly installed electric garage door openers to be equipped with backup batteries so they
continue to work when the power goes out. He also signed my insurance reform bill, SB 894, which will help victims of disasters such as wildfires recover losses from their insurance companies.
Senate Bill 901 attacks the wildfire problem on multiple levels including requiring better forest management practices, increased fuel reduction efforts, the de-energizing of electric utility power lines in extreme weather and a general hardening of the utility grid. It also protects ratepayers by authorizing the use of ratepayer protection bonds for utilities.
Said Gov. Brown: “Wildfires in California aren’t going away, and we have to do everything possible to prevent them. This bill is complex and requires investment – but it’s absolutely necessary.”
The legislation won bipartisan Assembly and Senate support. Backers came from all quarters including firefighters, wildfire victims and environmentalists. Among the supporters are the Nature Conservancy, California Labor Federation, Consumer Attorneys of California, California Professional Firefighters, California Fire Chiefs Association, California Association of Counties and the Wine Country fire victims group, “Up from the Ashes.”
Santa Rosa Fire Chief Tony Gossner testified in support of SB 901. He called SB 901 a “huge step forward for all of California.”
And Patrick McCallum, who lost his Santa Rosa home in the 2017 Tubbs fire and leads Up from the Ashes, called the bill “a measure of relief” that “protects victims and ratepayers, helps prevent future fires and ensures that PG&E and the state's other investor-owned utilities invest in safety and are held accountable when they do damage.”
I'd like to thank everyone who attended or watched online my Sept. 24 forum at UC Davis. A panel of academics, journalists and scholars had a lively discussion about the proliferation of political propaganda and advertising on social media, the importance of a free press and charges of ‘fake news’ leveled at mainstream media outlets.
The forum followed the passage of my Senate Bill 830, which encourages media literacy in public schools, ensuring students can discern legitimate information sources.
In recognition of the critical role the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta plays in California’s economy and environment, the Legislature passed my resolution designating the second week of September as Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Watershed Protection Week.
The Delta is quite simply the lifeblood of our water system throughout the state of California. It is so important that we protect it.
Delta week kicked off this year on Sept. 10. A highlight was the annual Delta Waterway Cleanup on Saturday, Sept. 15.
I commend the stewardship and restoration efforts of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy and Delta Protection Commission. Both have been instrumental in protecting the 1,100-square-mile expanse, including many crucial waterways like the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, that support 55 fish and 750 plant species and hosts more than 12 million visitors a year.
To learn more about the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy’s mission to preserve, protect and restore the natural resources, economy and agriculture of the Delta, visit: http://deltaconservancy.ca.gov/
Recognizing the value of properly installed car and booster seats in safeguarding children, we passed a resolution designating the third week of September as Child Passenger Safety Week.
We know that putting in car seats correctly can save lives. All too often they are improperly installed and children are injured or even killed. My hope is to bring awareness to this situation and prevent the future tragic loss of life.
Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injury and death in children. The American Automobile Association estimates 90 percent of child restraints are incorrectly installed or improperly used. Further, 71 percent of small children in fatal crashes would have survived had they been properly restrained in child safety seats. Studies show nine out of 10 parents move their child from a booster seat to a seat belt before their child is big enough.
During Child Passenger Safety Week, AAA and the California Highway Patrol will encourage people to sign up for their free car seat inspections.
The resolution as sponsored by AAA Northern California with the support of public safety advocates and the Automobile Club of Southern California.
- Senator Dodd’s Wildfire Bill is Signed by the Gov. Brown
- ‘Cyberterrorism’ is Added to List of Reasons to Declare Emergency
- Gov. Brown signs Dodd’s Garage Door Safety Bill Into Law
- Dodd Legislation to Fill Statewide Teacher Shortage is Signed
- PD Editorial: Lawmakers Take a Big Step Toward Fire Prevention