A bill by Assemblyman Bill Dodd, D-Solano, to protect students and teachers during earthquakes took an important step forward, receiving unanimous bipartisan support from the Assembly Education Committee. Dodd’s bill would require school districts in California to ensure that the contents of their classroom, like heavy bookshelves or hanging light fixtures, comply with state earthquake safety guidelines.
“Earthquakes are a part of life in California and we cannot wait for tragedy to strike to take common sense precautions to ensure our children and teachers are as safe as possible,” Dodd said. “I’m thankful to have the unanimous support of the Assembly Education Committee and look forward to working with my colleagues in the legislature to advance classroom earthquake safety.”
The state of California has already invested time and resources into creating guidelines for securing the contents of classrooms in the event of an earthquake. However, there is currently nothing in state law that requires school districts to adhere to the established guidelines produced by the Division of the State Architects. Inspections of Napa schools following the South Napa Earthquake revealed significant damage inside classrooms, totaling millions of dollars. These concerning results have been identified following other serious earthquakes throughout the state. The shifting contents and blocked exists could have been life-threatening had the earthquake occurred during school hours.
“What we found after the Napa Earthquake was alarming…we found classrooms that we couldn’t even get inside because things had fallen in the doorway,” said Don Evans, member of the Napa Valley Unified School District, who testified before the education committee. “We believe the preventative approach is the way to go and we believe future damage is controllable.
Following the South Napa Earthquake, the Napa Valley Unified School District completed an inspection of its facilities and addressed the issues that were identified. Dodd’s legislation would require that all seismically active school districts in California proactively inspect school contents and equipment to ensure they are within state guidelines.
Dodd represents the 4th Assembly District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Yolo, Sonoma, Lake, Solano, and Colusa counties. He’s also running to represent Senate District 3.
Learn more about Dodd and the Assembly district at www.asm.ca.gov/dodd.
A gender pay equity bill by Assemblyman Bill Dodd, D-Napa, is one step closer to becoming law after receiving unanimous, bipartisan support from the Assembly Labor Committee.
The legislation would ensure that companies that do business with the state of California have fair compensation policies and practices that do not unlawfully differentiate between gender and race.
“The state of California spends billions of dollars annually on state contracts, and we need to ensure that taxpayer money is only going to companies that follow our gender pay equity laws,” Dodd said in a news release. “We need to take a stand for what’s right and ensure everyone is on an equal playing field. I believe we owe that to future generations.”
Last year, Dodd co-authored the California Fair Pay Act of 2015, which was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown to create the strongest equal pay laws in the nation. Hoping to build off last year’s success, Dodd’s new bill would advance pay equity by ensuring that those standards are actually followed by state contractors.