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Eight Bills from Sen. Dodd Clear Appropriations, Head to full Senate


Eight bills from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, cleared the Senate Appropriations committee Friday and head to the full Senate next week for a vote.

“I’m proud to bring this legislation addressing a range of issues and concerns, both locally and statewide,” Senator Dodd said. “And I thank my fellow senators for advancing it after careful consideration.”

The following bills were taken off suspense Friday:

SB 830: The proposal adds media literacy education to school curriculums and ensures students have the tools to succeed in the digital age.

SB 901: Requires electric utilities to update their wildfire mitigation plans to include policies and procedures for determining if, when and where to temporarily de-energize a power line during harsh weather.

SB 919: Requires the Department of Water Resource, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to develop a plan to deploy a network of stream gages that includes a determination of funding needs and opportunities for reactivating existing gages.

SB 969: Requires all new or replaced automatic garage door openers to be equipped with backup batteries so they will continue to operate in a power failure.

SB 1088: Builds a framework for strengthening utility infrastructure to prevent future catastrophes such as wildfires.

SB 1073: Authorizes state funding, from general obligation bonds, subventions or upon appropriation by the Legislature, to be used for the Napa River Flood Control Project in Napa County.

SB 1121: Modernizes and adds teeth to California’s data breach statute, which has not had a comprehensive update despite decades of technological changes.

SB 1144: Extends any increases in pay that an active-duty Cal Fire firefighter receives to agency firefighters who are out on enhanced industrial disability leave.

These eight bills and three others that are already on the Senate floor (SB 894 Insurance Reform, SB 998 Water Shutoffs and SCR 140 Elder Abuse Month) will be taken up next week by the full Senate.

Following the announcement by CAL FIRE that investigators determined the cause of four wildfires in Northern California, Senator Bill Dodd, D-Napa, issued the following statement:

“It confirms what we’ve known all along — that downed power lines can be the source of devastating fires. That is why I’ve written legislation asking utility companies strengthen their infrastructure — to harden the grid – so that we can prevent loss of life and property in the future. We have an obligation to ensure the utility companies do what’s right to protect Californians. This determination by Cal Fire underscores the need to take protective measures now.”

On Friday, two of the senator’s bills, SB 901 and SB 1088, cleared the Senate Appropriations committee and were moved to the Senate floor. A vote is expected next week.

SB 901 requires electric utilities to update their wildfire mitigation plans to include policies and procedures for determining if, when and where to temporarily de-energize a power line during harsh weather. SB 1088 builds a framework for strengthening utility infrastructure to prevent future catastrophes such as wildfires.

According to Cal Fire, more than 170 fires broke out across Northern California in early October, charring more than 245,000 acres, destroying thousands of homes and killing 44 people.

An investigation by Cal Fire determined the La Porte and Honey fires in Butte County and the McCourtney and Lobo fires in Nevada County were started by tree branches either falling into or contacting Pacific Gas & Electric Co. power lines.

Cal Fire has yet to determine the case of other fires, including the October blazes in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake counties.

Senator Bill Dodd represents California’s 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Sonoma, Solano, Yolo, Sacramento, and Contra Costa counties. You can learn more about Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.