Sen. Dodd’s: Climate Resilience Bills Clear Senate

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

SACRAMENTO – The California Senate today advanced a pair of bills from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, that would help communities respond to the effects of climate change, which includes sea-level rise and wildfire, and become more energy resilient during climate-driven power outages.

“Climate change presents enormous challenges which we can confront with this legislation,” said Sen. Dodd. “Helping communities develop plans to address these problems at the local level is critical. Also, our cities and counties must have clean-energy choices during power outages – often the result of our rapidly warming world. Today we take another step toward addressing the causes and effects of this pressing, existential threat.”

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 was approved by the full Senate with overwhelming support and heads next to the Assembly.

“California needs action now to address today’s challenges and help prepare for its future. SB 852 is one major step towards reducing community-wide risks through climate resilience districts that will develop and implement necessary mitigation projects tailored to local needs,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, the bill’s co-sponsor.  “Today’s vote in the Senate brings us closer to making much-needed investments to protect vulnerable communities, which was a key goal of our climate insurance report, and I commend Sen. Dodd for his leadership in authoring SB 852.”

“Nearly every day reminds us of the extreme threat that climate change poses.  SB 852 will give local communities and regions a way to take on the most important climate changes they face,” said Roger Dickinson, policy director for CivicWell. “We are delighted that, by approving SB 852, the Senate agrees that local governments need more tools to take strong and effective action to meet the challenge of climate change.”

Sen. Dodd’s other measure, SB 833, calls for the creation of a technical assistance and grant program administered by the California Energy Commission to help local governments develop clean energy resilience plans. It would enable local governments to collaborate with utilities in planning community-scale energy infrastructure such as solar panels and battery storage so that communities are deciding what facilities remain energized during a crisis.  Plans are a prerequisite for attracting private and public investments in community energy resilience projects, which are particularly important in light of the recently passed federal infrastructure package.

SB 833 will also be advancing to the Assembly following a unanimous consent-calendar vote.

“With another summer of extreme heat waves and power outages looming, California urgently needs to invest in clean, distributed energy,” said Ellie Cohen, CEO of The Climate Center, which is sponsoring the bill. “Gov. Newsom has proposed investing nearly $1 billion in distributed energy and storage this year, making SB 833 all the more vital for communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis. We thank the members of the Senate for moving California one step closer to planning and deploying common-sense, clean energy solutions that keep the lights on without compromising public health.”



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