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 California Farm Bureau Friday Review 8/19/05

AUGUST 19, 2005
The Senate confirmation hearing for the new chair of the Air Resources Board will be held on
Wednesday, August 31. We need your immediate assistance in generating letters to support the
appointment of Cindy Tuck to the Air Resources Board (ARB). We all know that air quality issues
and pending regulations are greatly impacting the way our members operate their businesses. It's
important that we have a fair and balanced person leading the ARB. Cindy Tuck is that person.
Contact your County Farm Bureau. They have talking points that will make writing a letter very
easy. Please send your letters of support for Cindy Tuck's confirmation to: The Honorable Senator
Don Perata, Senate Rules Committee Chair, State Capitol Room, 205, Sacramento, California
A grower who is filling out an air permit application for the first time could be criminally prosecuted for
incorrect information if SB 109 (Deborah Ortiz, D-Sacramento) becomes law. What is worse is the
grower could have simply been incorrect; it would not have to mean that they were intentionally
deceptive. While the agricultural community wishes to comply with the law and will do our best to
provide true and accurate information in meeting air quality regulations and laws, there are bound to be
paper-work mistakes that should not be subject to criminal penalties following a civil settlement.
SB 109 was held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee this week for costing the state more than
$150,000, which causes it to go to the suspense file. It will be determined on August 25th whether it is
taken off the suspense file and allowed to proceed through the legislative process. CFBF will continue to
You may recall Senator Machado’s legislation last year to require mandatory testing of all beef sold
in California for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE). This year he introduced two separate
bills to allow voluntary testing for BSE in California, despite the fact that Congress through the
enactment of the Virus Serum Toxic Act has made it very clear that disease testing authority remains
solely in the hands of USDA. On Tuesday, the Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing on BSE
to gain a better understanding of what’s being done to prevent the spread of the disease and to
protect consumers. Unfortunately, Senator Machado did not attend the informational segment of the
hearing, so he missed the experts saying that we’re doing everything possible to protect the US beef
industry and the consumer from BSE. SJR 16 (Machado, D-Linden), urges the federal government
to allow voluntary testing for BSE. Farm Bureau is opposed to this bill, as well as SB 905
(Machado), which would allow voluntary testing for BSE in California so that beef may be labeled
as “BSE tested.” SJR 16 failed to get the necessary votes to pass out of the committee, but it has
been granted reconsideration. SB 905 has been sent to the Assembly Health Committee, but no
hearing date has been set.

SB 872 (Jeff Denham, R-Merced), a bill to continue the California Department of Food and
Agriculture’s Vertebrate Pest Control Research Program, passed the Assembly unanimously on
Thursday. This important program will ensure the availability of cost effective means to control
vertebrate pests on our members’ farms and ranches. Farm Bureau supports this bill and looks
forward to a signature by the Governor.
SB 999 (Mike Machado, D-Linden) was amended this week to give the state Air Resources Board
the authority to appoint representatives to local air districts that are not accountable to the district’s
voters. The current local appointment system in the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution
Control District (SJVUAPCD) requires its members to be accountable because they must be elected
city or county officials.
The high growth rate, geographic propensity for trapping emissions and the SJVUAPCD’s limited
authority to regulate cars and trucks that are the largest polluters must all be considered in trying to
improve air quality. There are a number of regulatory and voluntary efforts underway that will have
a major impact on emission reductions and need time to be effective. Dealing with the air issues in
the SJV Air Basin is a complex issue that will not be rectified by adding two political appointees to
the Board. SB 999 was approved by the Assembly Appropriations committee on a 12-5 vote this
week and now moves to the Assembly Floor. Please contact your Assemblymember and voice your
opposition to this bill.
This week the Assembly Appropriations Committee held Senate Bill 820 (Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa
Monica) on its suspense file because of costs that the bill would impose on the State Department of
Water Resources. The author amended the bill two days before the Appropriations Committee
hearing, and some of the amendments address technical concerns that Farm Bureau has expressed.
However, the bill still contains the fundamental requirement that individual groundwater users report
their annual groundwater use, and several other items of information about their farming practices,
to the State Water Resources Control Board, and risk loss of their water rights if they do not know
about the requirement, or make errors in the report. The filing requirements, and accompanying
penalties, are particularly egregious since the state will make no use of the data provided in these
reports to help farmers meet their water supply needs. The only reason for the state to collect
individual data on groundwater use is to eventually regulate that use, and the Farm Bureau remains
opposed to the bill. The Appropriations Committee will meet August 25, to decide whether the bill
should move to the Assembly Floor.
The Senate Local Government Committee held an informational hearing on how the U.S. Supreme
Court’s recent Kelo Decision affects California’s local governments. Experts from the Pacific Legal
Foundation (PLF) squared off with attorneys representing the state’s redevelopment agencies in a
frank discussion of how and why private property is sometimes taken for private reuse. PLF offered
examples of how redevelopment agencies routinely include private homes in project areas thus
subjecting them to the possibility of condemnation even though the properties are not in the least bit
“blighted.” A land use specialist from the League of California Cities pointed to the fact that
eminent domain is only used with great restraint and as a last resort for redevelopment in order to
reclaim crime-ridden, drug infested neighborhoods, neglected absentee landowner tenements, or
toxic brownfields, thus helping to prevent urban sprawl by using existing urban areas more

The question before the Legislature in these last three weeks of session is how to sort this out since
both sides appear to have compelling arguments. Senator McClintock (R-Thousand Oaks) has
introduced SCA 15 to amend California’s constitution to stop the use of eminent domain when the
property would be subject to private reuse. Senator Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) and Senator
Tom Torlakson (D-Antioch) are proposing a competing proposal, SCA 12. Their constitutional
amendment would create the “California Homeowners’ Protection Act” to prohibit the taking of
owner-occupied residential property for private use. Other statutory measures have also been
• SB 53 (Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego) would give local voters a bigger voice in how their
redevelopment agencies use eminent domain. The bill would require existing and new
redevelopment plans to declare whether they intend to use eminent domain. It would allow
them to ban eminent domain on specific types of property (e.g., houses) and in specific areas
(e.g., outside downtown). In addition, the bill bans the use of eminent domain more than 10
years after forming a new project area; for existing project areas, three years after the bill’s
effective date. SB 53 would also clarify that any future plan amendments are referendable.
• SB 1026 (Don Perata, D-Oakland) is going to become an urgency bill by Senator Kehoe that
would immediately stop all use of eminent domain on owner-occupied residential property
for private reuse. The moratorium would last for two years, until January 1, 2008 and
applies to all local agencies and the state government. The bill defines “private use” as any
use other than public facilities and public works that are owned and operated by a public
agency. It would also require the California Research Bureau to report to the Legislature by
January 1, 2007. The report would identify all condemnations of owner-occupied residential
property for private use from 1996 to 2006, and what became of those properties. The bill is
currently on the Assembly Inactive File but will be amended in the near future.
• SB 1099 (Dennis Hollingsworth, R-Murrieta) would restrict the use of eminent domain to
acquire agricultural property for public use unless the condemner retains direct ownership of
the property for the stated public use, or transfers the property to a private entity for a public
use limited to health care facilities, public utilities, transit facilities, including railroads, or
other common carriers. The bill defines “agricultural property” to include, but not necessarily
limited to, property that is used for the following: growing crops, cultivation, orchards,
dairies, agricultural research, greenhouse facilities, plant nurseries, ranching operations,
including range lands and corrals, and any other agricultural use that produces plant or
animal products for commercial purposes. “Agricultural property” would also include any
housing used for or in support of commercial agricultural activities, including farm worker
housing and open-space areas that are fallow or contain apiaries, aviaries, seasonal ponds,
vernal pools, wetlands, or other habitat areas.





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