Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
APRIL 21, 2006 California Farm Bureau
Labor Union Sponsored legislation, which would create joint liability for any farmer that enters into a legal
contract for the services with a Farm Labor Contractor, has passed the Assembly Labor and Employment
Committee on a straight partisan vote. The measure, SB 2327, by (Juan Arambula, D-Fresno), as sponsored by
the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation (CRLAF), would require an FLC to disclose the name and
address of the entity or entities that secured that contractor’s services on the pay sub of the FLC’s employees.
The CRLAF stated that the bill would provide public agencies and farm workers with the information they need
to undertake appropriate labor law enforcement against all responsible parties, meaning the farmers for the
illegal action of an FLC. Farm Bureau in its opposition stated that “while we support strong penalties for those
FLC’s that choose not to abide by the law, AB 2327 fails to distinguish between the good and bad actors and
creates new liability for all”.
A bill to increase the number of farmworkers that would be allowed in up to 12 new units of housing from 12 to
36, without a conditional use permit, was approved by the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee. SB
1802 (Denise Ducheny, D-San Diego) was amended at Farm Bureau’s request to remove the provisions of the
bill that would have forced local jurisdictions to approve all farmworker housing projects, regardless of size,
even if the development was inconsistent with the community’s general plan land use designation and zoning.
Another provision amended out of the bill at our request would have mandated approval of all farmworker
housing projects even when there was not adequate water or wastewater facilities to serve the project.
The sponsors of the measure, the Western Growers Association and the California Rural Legal Assistance
Foundation (CRLF), and the author agreed to our proposed amendment to remove the entire first section of the
bill that contained the so-called “Anti-NIMBY” (not in my backyard) provisions. Farm Bureau has a long
history of supporting local control of land use planning and opposing state mandated housing requirements.
SB 1799 (Don Perata, D-Oakland), the Heritage Tree Bill, is up in the Senate Appropriations Committee next
week. The bill defines a heritage tree by age and size and makes it a crime to harvest or harm a heritage tree.
CFBF remains opposed and has pointed out the huge cost to the state in lost yield taxes if approximately 10
million “heritage” trees are placed off limits to harvesting. SB 1799 will be heard on Monday, April 24th.
CFBF is opposed.
The California Highway Patrol sponsored bill AB 3011 (John Benoit, R-Palm Desert) passed out of the
Assembly Transportation Committee on a 12-0 vote. This bill addresses a number of transportation issues
concerning domestic and foreign motor carriers and brings California into compliance with the new federal load
securement regulations. The most important aspect of this bill for hay growers is that this measure creates a
significant exemption that will allow them to continue to secure their hay loads using the proven tie-down
methods and safety measures that they are accustomed to. This exemption is in recognition that the new federal
load securement regulations do not specifically address the uniqueness of this commodity. This section does not
exempt commercial hay haulers who will be required to comply on January 1, 2007, as mandated by this
legislation. AB 3011 will be heard next in the Assembly Appropriations committee. CFBF is in support.
SB 1224 (Wes Chesbro, D-Arcata) was amended in committee to extend the exemption in current law until
2012. The bill passed out of the committee on a 12-0 vote. Current law allows licensed carriers of livestock
utilizing semi-trailer combinations, which do not exceed 70 feet in total length and kingpin to rear axle settings
of 40 feet, access to Humboldt and Del Norte counties via Highway 101. Continuation of this exemption is vital
to the lasting viability of the livestock industry in these counties. SB 1224 will be heard in the Senate
Appropriations Committee Monday, April 24th. CFBF is in support.
AB 2479 (David Cogdill, R-Modesto) will be heard in the Assembly Agriculture Committee on Wednesday,
April 26. This bill would reauthorize the Weed Management Area (WMA) program and appropriate $2.5
million. Funding for this very successful program ended in 2004. The WMA program, administered by the
California Department of Food and Agriculture, is a prime example of how state funds can be leveraged for
extensive local efforts to control and eradicate noxious weeds. Every dollar provided by the state at the onset of
the program in 1999 was matched 3-1 through federal matching funds, grants, private donations, and volunteer
work. Farm Bureau is working closely with the sponsors, the California Weed Awareness Coalition in support
of AB 2479.
AB 1924 (Paul Koretz, D-West Hollywood) is scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Water, Parks, and
Wildlife Committee on Tuesday, April 25th. The bill would prohibit the destruction of bird nests and eggs of
any bird species. If the bird is listed under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (over 600 California bird species are
included on this list), and is listed as threatened or endangered under the California Endangered Species Act, or
is a fully protected species then the nest can be destroyed only after the Department of Fish and Game has
certified that the nest has been permanently abandoned. In addition to these provisions, the bill increases
penalties to $15,000 for the first offence and $35,000 with possible jail time for the second offense. Violators
are also put online, however the bill requires that a violator’s privacy rights be taken into account, if any. In
addition to the monetary fine, violators would lose their fishing license. There is nothing that could be done to
fix the numerous problems with this bill. CFBF strongly opposes this bill and is working with a broad coalition
of agricultural and industry groups to oppose the measure when it comes up in committee next week.
Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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