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 California Farm Bureau Friday Review

OCTOBER 10, 2005
Governor Schwarzenegger, in taking action on the 961 bills he received during the first half of the
2005-06 legislative session, demonstrated without a doubt that he is committed to protecting
California’s family farms. He wound up signing 729 measures and vetoing 232. This years final
edition of the Friday Review will highlight the governor’s actions on the priority bills for farmers and
Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed AB 48 (Sally Lieber, D-Mountain View) which would have
imposed one of the highest minimum wage rates in the country. This measure would have increased
the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour, effective on and after July 1, 2006, and to $7.75 per hour,
effective on and after July 1, 2007, and would have provided for the automatic adjustment of the
minimum wage on January 1 of each year thereafter, calculated by multiplying the minimum wage by
the previous year's rate of inflation. CFBF opposed. In his veto message the governor stated that
although he believed the minimum wage was due for an increase he did not support automatic
increases that did not take into account changes in the economy and the economic health of the state.
He also stated that the minimum wage must be reviewed in conjunction with other wage and hour
issues that impact workers and business.
The governor vetoed SB 820 (Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica), which would have mandated statewide
reporting of groundwater use to the water rights regulators at the State Water Resources Control Board.
CFBF strongly opposed this bill, and applauds the governor's veto of the measure. In his veto
message, the governor identified a key problem with the bill: it would have imposed significant costs
on individual landowners, without actually generating the kind of information that would have helped
the state plan to meet the local water supply needs of farmers and ranchers. The governor proposed an
alternate approach, starting with an assessment of existing data on groundwater use, recharge levels,
quality, and other factors, and working with water users and other interested parties to identify what
further information, if any, the state could use to make its groundwater report, Bulletin 118, more
useful as a planning tool.
The governor signed AB 1011 (Barbara Matthews, D-Tracy) that will help insure a fair and open
marketplace for plant protection tools in California. This new law makes important changes to
streamline and expedite the registration process of the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) and
insure that pesticide manufacturers who have invested resources in this state to maintain California
only data requirements will receive a share of costs for producing that data. The bill also requires
retailers that sell home and garden pesticides to be subject to the same pesticide mill assessment that
agricultural users pay on their pesticides. This provision should result in at least $4 million in
additional annual fee revenues and will allow the DPR to track more closely the use of urban
In an infrequently used signing message, Governor Schwarzenegger called on the DPR to complete the
bill’s required analysis of the potential environmental consequences of data sharing agreements and
their impact on the volume of pesticides sold in California.

The bill that would have significantly expanded the causes of action to impose civil penalties for
pesticide violations was vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger. Farm Bureau argued that SB 455
(Martha Escutia, D-Whittier) was premature because the administration’s recently created Enforcement
Response Policy (ERP) for pesticides should be allowed to be put in place before further restrictions
are put into law. The ERP was developed jointly by the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) and
the California Agricultural Commissioners and Sealers Association to help insure consistent
application and compliance with statutory and regulatory mandates relating to pesticides.
In his veto message, the governor stated that consistent statewide enforcement of California’s
environmental laws is paramount for the protection of California’s people, property, and the
environment. But he cited that by requiring minimum mandatory penalties for “exposure” rather than
“harm,” the bill would have drastically expanded liability and restricted enforcement officer discretion.
“This expansion will create litigation over its interpretation and uncertainty over its scope that could
adversely impact the farm workers, the regulated community, our enforcement officers, and the
Department,” he wrote. The governor also directed the DPR to expedite the regulatory process for
putting the 2005 ERP into effect.
In signing Assembly Bill 365 (Simon Salinas, D-Salinas), which establishes greenhouse agriculture as
a statutorily declared “agricultural use” in the Williamson Act, the governor said, “The bill recognizes
that greenhouse agriculture is essential to all aspects of the agricultural industry.” The governor also
stated unequivocally, “Greenhouses used in production of agricultural crops should not be considered
an industrial or commercial use.” He also addressed the controversial local control issue raised in the
eleventh hour by his Office of Planning and Research by stating that it was his opinion that the bill
does not change local prerogative to include greenhouse uses in local Williamson Act definitions of
agricultural use or in agricultural zoning ordinances. Farm Bureau, through its Farm Team, generated
121 letters to the governor in support of AB 365.
Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed AB 755 (Hector De La Torre, D-South Gate) that would have
required employees working on a piece-rate basis in the agricultural and garment industries be paid
wages on top of their piece-rate earnings for rest periods regardless of whether the employee has taken
a break or chose to work through it. The bill also would have provided that an employee working on a
piece-rate basis, who suffers injury as a result of the failure of an employer to pay required wages for
rest periods, is entitled to recover his or her unpaid average piece-rate wage for each rest period in any
pay period in which a violation occurred. CFBF opposed.
In his veto message the governor stated “piece-rate calculations already compensate workers for all
time worked and rest periods are already considered time worked. This is unreasonable and overly
burdensome to employers and does nothing to ensure that workers actually take the rest periods they
are authorized to take. This bill would impose burdensome accounting requirements and increase
frivolous litigation with no discernable benefit to workers.”
After a long, and much more difficult process than expected, the governor finally had the opportunity
to sign SB 453 (Charles Poochigian, R-Fresno), which will immediately implement the Central Valley
Rural Crime Prevention Program. SB 453 will provide $3.341 million for the program to prevent
agricultural crime and protect California agriculture in the Central Valley through the integration of
law enforcement, agricultural commissioners and prosecution. The program fosters collaboration
between county law enforcement and local farmers.

“The Central Valley Rural Crime Prevention Program is crucial to protecting the economy of the
richest agricultural producing region in the world. Agriculture is the lifeblood of the Central Valley.
Prior to the Rural Crime Prevention Program, thieves who preyed on rural communities and stole fuel,
chemicals, equipment and livestock often were not actively pursued, for lack of resources and
expertise,” Senator Poochigian said. Funding of $3.341 million for the program was included in the
budget signed in July 2005.
The governor vetoed AB 1058 (Paul Koretz, D-Hollywood), which would have created a California-
only labeling program. This bill threatened consumer confidence in food safety by creating a
California-only labeling program for beef as an unnecessary reaction to recent bovine spongiform
encephalopathy (BSE) cases. State level labeling programs are pre-empted by the Federal Meat
Inspection Act, which is the appropriate place to address the issue. In his veto message, the governor
stated, “California and the United States have the most sound food safety system in the world. Our
system is a model of how local, state, and federal government work cooperatively with private food
wholesalers and retailers protect consumers and provide a safe wholesome food supply.”
Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed SB 600 (Debra Ortiz, D-Sacramento) and (Don Perata, D-Oakland)
that proposed biomonitoring to identify public health trends resulting from exposure to and
concentration of toxic chemicals by creating the Healthy Californians Biomonitoring Program.
However, SB 600 lacked a health-risk framework for interpreting and communicating the
biomonitoring results. In addition, this bill could have lead to new, onerous rules and regulations on
farmers and ranchers and would have created an eight-member, Cal/EPA and Department of Health
Services (DHS) appointed advisory panel.
The governor signed AB 1061 (Committee on Agriculture), which improves the business climate for
family farmers by ensuring that they receive payment for their products. This bill will improve direct
business interactions by creating a more streamlined process for payment disputes under $30,000.
CFBF is pleased that the Governor signed this bill and looks forward to working with the Market
Enforcement Advisory Committee to ensure a streamlined implementation process for the new
The governor also vetoed AB 826 (Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara) that would have created California
Farm to School Child Nutrition Improvement Program (Farm to School program). His veto message
said that he believed the bill was unnecessary because it duplicates efforts that are already taking place
in other state programs. The governor cited the Department of Health Services (DHS) already
implements California 5 a Day – For Better Health Campaign and the California Nutrition Network
for Health Active Families to promote increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, as well as the
Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) oversees the Buy California Initiative that helps promote
California agriculture. The governor also raised fiscal concerns by adding, “Instead of creating another
duplicative program with no identifiable funding source, I would rather see any additional resources
that might be available go directly toward providing fresh fruits and vegetables to schools.” He also
noted that he had signed SB 281 (Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria) into law that provides healthy
alternatives through existing meal programs and makes purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables a
priority, by providing $18 million to California’s schools to purchase fresh produce. While it is
unfortunate that the Governor vetoed AB 826, CFBF will continue to work with CDFA, DHS, and the
Department of Education to better coordinate current programs to improve farm to school programs in

The governor signed AB 1328 (Lois Wolk, D-Davis) declaring a 31 mile stretch of Cache Creek in
Yolo and Lake Counties a part of the State Wild and Scenic Rivers system. This bill was opposed by
California Farm Bureau Federation, as well as the Yolo County Farm Bureau, several other County
Farm Bureaus, and many individual Farm Bureau members. The bill does not include specific
protections for existing and future private water rights above and below the listed reach of Cache
Creek, but it does contain extensive language protecting the existing and future water rights of public
agencies, as well as assurances that flood control efforts will not be stymied by the designation.
The governor came down hard on the side of accountability in government when he vetoed AB 1747
(Lois Wolk, D-Davis). This was the highly controversial measure that would have allowed the Rumsey
Band of Wintun Indians to enter into a joint powers agreement (JPA) with Yolo County local
governments and the University of California at Davis to manage a 17,300-acre ranch that the county
wants to take by eminent domain. Local government officials felt that as sovereign nation, the tribe
deserved to participate in nonreservation land use management decisions because their casino earnings
were going to finance Yolo County’s seizure of the ranch. The governor disagreed, “[A]llowing a
tribal government that is not subject to all of the federal, state and local laws that protect the public, to
participate in the exercise of public power, particularly off reservation lands, diminishes public
accountability and control. The governor also addressed the takings issue by saying the bill also
presents significant policy questions regarding the proper role of a tribal sovereign when their
partnership with a local government can lead to the taking of property for public purposes through
eminent domain. Farm Bureau opposed AB 1747 for these same reasons.
Thank you to all those County Farm Bureaus, Farm Team members, and individuals who took
the time to write, fax, email and call the Governor’s office asking for his action on these bills.
Your efforts are important in getting the desired results to protect farms and ranches.





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