A state senator from Napa has introduced legislation that would allow increases in city council pay caps, bringing salaries more in line with the cost of living.
Senate Bill 329, authored by Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, was created in an effort to boost participation and diversity in California’s city councils by allowing councils to adjust their maximum pay to reflect inflation as measured by the California Consumer Price Index.
“My proposal will improve diverse representation and increase access to elected office for all Californians by making it less of a financial challenge to serve,” Dodd said.
The maximum amount general law cities can raise salaries for councilmembers has not been increased since 1984.
City council salary caps are based on population size provided in state law. A majority of cities in California have a population of under 35,000 and have salaries capped at $300 per month with minimal allowances, according to Dodd’s office.
SB 329 is expected to be heard in committee in March. The bill is supported by the League of California Cities.