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JUNE 16, 2006 California Farm Bureau Friday Review

SB 1535 (Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica) which would add numerous fees to fund the
Department of Fish and Game, failed passage in the Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife
Committee this week. The final vote was 6 to 7 with 2 abstentions, all of the Republican
committee members voted no and Democratic Assembly Members Baca, Bermudez,
Matthews, and Parra either voted no or abstained. The Committee allowed reconsideration,
so the bill will come up for another vote at the next committee hearing, CFBF is opposed to
this bill due to the increased fees timber operations would be required to pay and will
continue to oppose the bill unless that fee is removed.

SB 419 (Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto) would require rail tank car owners to certify with the
Office of Emergency Services that their tank cars are in compliance with the most recently
adopted construction and safety standards for rail tank cars regardless of the date of
manufacture. While Farm Bureau supports the goal of increased rail safety, the rail industry
does not have enough cars that would meet the proposed regulatory standard, which would
result in a severe shortage of liquefied propane gas (LPG), an essential energy source for
most rural homeowners and farmers in California for heating, cooking and crop protection,
especially during the winter months. The alternative would be an increased use of highway
transportation of LPG that would not be an economical or safe alternative. Farm Bureau is
opposed to SB 419 unless amended to exempt the rail transportation of LPG.

SB 1224 (Wes Chesbro, D-Arcata) would extend the exemption in current state law, that
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 two rural counties. SB 1224 passed out of the
Assembly Transportation Committee on a 10-0 vote, the bill will be heard next in the
Assembly Appropriations committee. Farm Bureau is in support.

AB 3011 (John Benoit, R-Palm Desert) will be heard next in the Senate Transportation and
Housing committee. 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 in support.

 
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