Agriculture Legislation Goes To Governor
the CA Assembly and Senate had their final sessions of the 2013 legislative
session ending late Thursday night, September 12th, sending the following
approved bills, among others, on to enrollment (the final copy of a bill that
has passed both Houses in identical form) and then to the Governor for his
action. The Governor will have until October 13th to sign or veto bills
passed by the legislature and in his possession.
AB 1165 changes current law so
that reduction of a serious, willful, or repeated violation of a Cal/OSHA
standard cannot be delayed by an appeal by the employer. Farm Bureau and other
employer groups are opposed.
AB 199 encourages state
institutions to purchase California grown agricultural products. Originally, the
bill would have required state institutions to purchase California grown
agricultural products as long as the price was within five percent of out of
state agricultural products. However, the bill was narrowed to only require the
purchase, to the extent possible. Farm Bureau supports.
SB 726 was a last minute gut
and amend that would have allowed the California Air Resources Board unfettered
authority to require reductions of black carbon (soot) on all major business
sectors, including agriculture. The governor's office responded to Farm
Bureau’s strong opposition and worked
to remove the language that contained the new regulatory authority that would
have severely impacted California growers.
carbon is a component of particulate matter, that is already being reduced from
the extensive regulations such as the Truck Rule and the upcoming "tractor
rule" that will eventually be implemented in the San Joaquin Valley.
Further regulations beyond what is already in place, could go as far as banning
the use of fossil fuel in certain instances. With the onerous amendments
removed, Farm Bureau and the majority of state's business community removed their opposition.
Governor has indicated he will sign AB
10 to substantially hike the California minimum wage. September 11
amendments to AB 10 changed the bill from gradually increasing minimum wages in
four increments to $10 per hour by January 1, 2018, to instead increase the
minimum wage to $9 per hour on July 1, 2014 and to $10 per hour on January 1,
2016. CFBF and others representing employers oppose AB 10.
SB 749 will extend the sunset
for the provision that allows accidental take for ongoing and routine farming
and ranching activities under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). It
makes three key clarifications that include 1) when the administrative record
is closed for purposes of listing species under CESA; 2) when lease revenues
generated from agricultural leases on lands owned by the Department of Fish and
Wildlife are deposited, it will ensure that these revenues can be used to
support the maintenance and operations of the Department's lands; and 3)
farmers transferring water can maintain non-irrigated cover crops so long as
the water used by those crops does not diminish the amount being transferred.
SB 749 was recently amended to also extend the sunset of the Department's Coho
recovery planning process. This bill is co-sponsored
by Farm Bureau, the California Cattlemen's Association, and the California
AB 1038 did not qualify for enrollment and will not go
to the Governor. AB 1038 would have established a California Dairy
Future Task Force at the California Department of Food and Agriculture to
review and recommend changes to the State's milk pricing system as well as the
challenges the dairy industry is facing. This bill was introduced in response
to both the fiscal situation dairies are facing and the value of whey under the
State's milk pricing system. AB 1038 is a vehicle that could have been used to
implement any compromise agreements between dairy producers and processors
about milk pricing going forward. However, ultimately no proposal was developed
that both sides could embrace. Farm Bureau supported
Labels: AB 10, AB 1038, AB 1165, AB 199, Agriculture Legislation Goes to Governor, black carbon, Cal/OSHA, California Air Resources, California Farm Bureau's Legislative Update, CESA, SB 726, SB 749