Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
MAY 25, 2006 California
Farm Bureau Friday Review
SB 1059 Martha Escutia (D-Whittier) has been significantly amended in response to considerable
opposition by a number of groups representing property owners, including CFBF. CFBF is now
neutral on the bill. Sponsored by the administration, the bill would authorize the California Energy
Commission to designate “transmission corridor zones” (corridors for future construction of high-
voltage transmission lines). CFBF opposed the bill because it did not provide for giving notice to
landowners whose property is being considered for the corridor designation. The bill has been
amended to require notice to landowners and has also been amended to address significant concerns
raised by cities and counties regarding how to address the designated zones in local planning.
Governor Schwarzenegger has petitioned the state Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) to increase
the state’s minimum wage by $1.00 an hour. As a result, the IWC has scheduled a public hearing on
June 2, in Sacramento, to consider taking possible action on the Governor’s request. The hearing will
take place at the Cal/EPA Building Auditorium, 1001 I Street at 10:00 a.m. The Governor’s request
would raise California’s current minimum wage of $6.75 to $7.75 in two phases of 50 cents increases
in 2007. The wage increase is estimated to cost California employers more than $2 billion per year
and give California the highest minimum wage in the U.S. The Governor’s request is based on his
belief that the current minimum wage is inadequate. It has not been increased since 2001 and it has
been substantially outpaced by the rising cost of living for minimum wage employees. The Governor
has previously vetoed minimum wage bills because they have contained language to automatically
increase the wage each year based on the rate of inflation. Similar legislation is advancing through the
Legislature this year of which he said he would veto. Farm Bureau is expected to testify before the
IWC stating its long-standing policy position of opposing any minimum wage increase unless it is on
a uniform nation basis.
Senator Perata’s (D-Oakland) (Heritage Tree Bill), SB 1799, did not come off of the Senate
Appropriations Committee Suspense file. This CFBF opposed bill would have prevented the harvest
of significant stands of trees on private property and CFBF will continue to remain vigilant should the
bill show up in another form towards the end of the legislative session. Thank you to all of you who
wrote letters opposing this bill.
AB 2121, Assembly Member Nava’s (D-Santa Barbara) Farm to School bill was held on the
Assembly Appropriations Committee Suspense file. This CFBF supported bill would have created a
pilot program to assist in creating farm to school programs around the state.
Both Assembly and Senate Budget Subcommittees on Resources approved a budget augmentation of
$2.5 million for the Weed Management Area program administered by the Department of Food and
Agriculture. This appropriation will provide the program with much needed funds for the fiscal year
2006-2007. AB 2479 David Cogdill (R-Modesto), the bill that would have created an annual
appropriation for the program, passed out of the Assembly Appropriations Suspense file with committee amendments that removed the annual allocation and will make technical changes to the Food and Agriculture code pertaining to the Weed Management Area program. Farm Bureau worked closely with coalition members for the inclusion of funding in the budget and with the Assemblyman’s office on AB 2479.
AB 3011 John Benoit (R-Palm Desert) continues to sail through the legislative process with no
opposition. It is now in the Senate Rules committee awaiting committee assignment for hearing. This
CHP sponsored bill will bring California into compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Regulations, but contains an important exemption for hay farmers that will allow them to continue to
use the same tie-down methods they have used for decades. This exemption does not apply to
commercial or for-hire carriers who will be required to comply on January 1, 2007. Farm Bureau is
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