Saturday, 04 December 2021

Sen. Dodd begins second term, introduces new power shutoff bill

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA – Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, was sworn into office on Monday after winning his second four-year term and announced new legislation to improve conditions in California during wildfire-related utility power shutoffs such as those this fall from PG&E.

“I consider it a great privilege to continue to serve the public and will waste no time in getting to work,” Sen. Dodd said. “Wildfire safety remains a top priority, and the possibility of more power shutoffs puts a strain on emergency services. This bill will ensure our local governments have the ability and resources to respond.”

The legislation follows a series of deenergizations from PG&E over the past two years that were intended to prevent fallen power lines and damaged equipment from sparking fires.

It makes clear that such public safety power shutoffs are eligible for official emergency declarations, freeing financial assistance for local government under the Emergency Services Act.

“I applaud Sen. Dodd for his continued leadership to provide much-needed relief for local agencies as we continue to respond and recover from devastating wildfires,” said Napa County Supervisor Diane Dillon. “This important legislation allows for counties and cities to be reimbursed for expenses incurred during a PSPS, an unfortunate but necessary tool required to prevent wildfires in areas where PG&E has not managed vegetation effectively.”

Sen. Dodd took his oath of office as the Senate reconvened at the capitol under strict COVID-19 safety protocols.

He was reelected Nov. 3 with an overwhelming 68 percent of the vote.

He was first elected to the Senate in 2016 after serving two years in the Assembly, during which he represented areas including Lake County, and 14 years on the Napa County Board of Supervisors.

He has been recognized as one of California’s most prolific lawmakers, with 73 bills signed in the past six years.

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

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