Press Release: Senator Dodd Introduces Climate Resilience Districts Bill
SACRAMENTO, CA January 18, 2022 — Today Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa) introduced SB 852, sponsored by the Local Government Commission, which would allow local jurisdictions to form climate resilience districts in order to address the effects of climate change. SB 852 will permit cities, counties, or special districts to establish districts which can use local, state, federal, and private funding to underwrite projects and actions which will respond through mitigation or adaptation to the risks posed by wildfire, extreme heat, sea level rise, flooding, drought, and other impacts of climate change.
“We must confront the threats posed by our rapidly changing climate conditions and this legislation gives us an opportunity to do that,” said Sen. Dodd. “Communities would be able to take direct action against threats that have manifested themselves across our state, focusing on challenges that are most relevant to their region. By empowering ourselves in this way, we can make our communities safer and more resilient.”
Communities and regions throughout California must confront the increasing threat of wildfire, sea and bay rise, extreme heat, extreme cold and rain, flooding, and drought, among other climate change impacts. While federal and state funding and support for actions to combat climate change have grown considerably in recent years, there is no means at the local level of generating predictable and sustained funding, plans, and projects to successfully face these effects.
“Climate change presents the most significant economic, social, and environmental challenge of our time,” said Roger Dickinson, Policy Director of the Local Government Commission. “Local governments are on the front line of grappling with the impacts and effects of this monumental challenge and SB 852 will give them the ability to use a variety of means to take it on.”
SB 852 gives local communities the authority to establish local climate resilience districts through a public process. The districts may be funded through tax increment funding, supplemental property taxes, property-based benefit assessments, or fees as may be approved by local voters. Districts may also accept and use federal, state, and private funds. Districts will have the responsibility of developing plans and budgets for projects and actions to meet the impacts of climate change as needed in their area. They will be public entities including both local elected officials and public members on their governing boards.
The Local Government Commission is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization assisting and engaging local leaders through nationally recognized events, technical assistance, and policy guidance on climate change, energy, water, and community design.