Governor Signs Sen. Dodd’s 100th Bill into Law

SB 329 Allows First City Council Pay Cap Increases Since 1984

Friday, June 30, 2023

SACRAMENTO – Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, announced today he reached a career milestone with the signing by Gov. Gavin Newsom of  his 100th bill – a measure to boost participation and diversity on California city councils by allowing the first council pay cap increases in nearly four decades, bringing salaries more in line with the cost of living.

“In my time in the Legislature, people have called for action on a range of issues – from wildfire safety to consumer protection -- and I’ve responded with commonsense laws addressing these pressing issues,” Sen. Dodd said. “My priority is always the same -- to make life better for Californians. That’s the goal of my latest bill, which will remove barriers to achieving more equitable representation in local government by making it easier for public servants to balance careers and personal obligations.”

Gov. Newsom signed Senate Bill 329 late Thursday. It becomes the 100th law written by Sen. Dodd since he joined the Legislature in 2014, first as an Assembly member and later as a senator. It is the single highest number from any legislator over the same period. He has taken on an array of issues including helping small business, improving wildfire safety and bolstering consumer privacy and protection.

The newest law addresses an issue that has discouraged public participation on city councils. Now, in general law cities, city councils may vote to receive a limited salary, not to exceed caps based on population size provided in state law. However, the maximum amounts set by state law have not been increased since 1984, despite inflation of more than 300% during that time. Because of the disparity, people from diverse communities are discouraged to run for office. Others with fulltime jobs have been forced to resign their posts before their terms expire because they can’t devote time to council service and supporting their families.

Senate Bill 329 allows councils to adjust their maximum pay to reflect inflation as measured by the California Consumer Price Index. Any increases would require a majority vote of the city councils.  SB 329 was supported by the California branch of the NAACP and the League of California Cities, among other groups.

“So much of politics today is about being a political show horse. Yet, Sen. Dodd demonstrates time and again that he’s a workhorse – trying to solve problems – and not merely about political grandstanding,” said David McCuan, political science professor at Sonoma State University. “With 100 bills signed by California governors, this approach is about moving the lines forward on controversial political debates and issues. SB 329 is yet another example of doing what’s right to improve our work in politics over that of merely being about the show in the game of politics.” 



Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Yolo, Sonoma, Solano, Sacramento and Contra Costa counties. More information on Senator Bill Dodd can be found at