September 12, 2022
SACRAMENTO, CA — On Friday, September 9, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law SB 852, Sen. Bill Dodd’s bill to address the impacts of climate change by creating local climate resilience districts to undertake and promote conservation efforts. The bill was co-sponsored by CivicWell and California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara.
“Today we take a significant step toward confronting the numerous challenges posed by our rapidly changing climate,” said Senator Dodd. “This new law will make our state safer and more resilient because it helps communities take direct action on problems most relevant to their region. I thank the governor and all those who supported this bill for helping California address this existential threat.”
The bill will allow cities, counties or special districts—either alone or in combination—to 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 will be able to raise revenue through tax increment funding, voter-approved supplemental property taxes, property benefit assessments or fees.
SB 852 received support from Sonoma County Regional Climate Protection Authority, Napa Valley Transportation Authority, the Nature Conservancy and more than two dozen other local government, business, and environmental organizations. It passed the Assembly and Senate with overwhelming support before being signed into law by the governor.
“As the obvious impacts of climate change intensify and expand, local governments occupy the frontlines in responding,” said CivicWell policy director Roger Dickinson. “We are delighted that Gov. Newsom has signed SB 852 which will provide local governments the ability to plan, finance and implement climate resilience projects critically needed in our communities. We extend our greatest thanks to Sen. Dodd for his steadfast work and leadership in shepherding the bill through the Legislature.”
“As a proud co-sponsor of SB 852, I commend Sen. Dodd for authoring this important measure that takes a major step towards reducing community-wide risks by authorizing the creation of climate resilience districts across California, to help communities mitigate risk in advance of a disaster and promote their recovery,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “SB 852 also promotes a recommendation from my department’s first-ever climate insurance report that would improve access to insurance for all, so that we can better prepare ourselves from increasing climate change-related threats.”