Time to Take Action
Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.

California Farm Bureau Federation Friday Review
May 25, 2007

The State Senate has passed, on a straight partisan vote, UFW sponsored legislation to circumvent the secret ballot election process under the Agricultural Labor Relation Act. The measure, SB 180 (Carole Migden, D-San Francisco), passed on a vote of 24 Democrats voting “Yes” and 15 Republicans voting “No”. It would strip agricultural employees of their democratic right to a secret ballot election in deciding whether they want union representation by permitting union organizers to merely get signed authorization cards from them. This process would totally undermine an employee’s right to make a secret ballot decision without the fear of intimidation or coercion. Please contact your State Assembly Member, urging a "NO" vote on SB 180 when it comes before them for consideration. For a sample letter, click here.

The Legislature failed to enact Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposed budget cut relative to Williamson Act subventions, therefore it will not be an issue for the Budget Conference Committee. Both Senator Mike Machado (D-Linden) and Assembly Member Juan Arambula (D-Fresno), who chair the budget subcommittees that have jurisdiction on this budget item, have indicated their strong support for the funding. Also, thirty-six legislators have signed two group letters to the governor urging him to reconsider the Williamson Act cut. We would like to thank Assembly Members Lois Wolk (D-Davis) and Cathleen Galgiani (D-Tracy), who each took the lead to gather signatures from the Democratic and Rural Caucus members, respectively. Farm Bureau members have also done an incredible job of responding to our Farm Team Alert by sending over 1000 email messages to the governor. Numerous newspapers around the state have editorialized in support of the Williamson Act and urged the governor to reconsider cutting the programs funding. The outpouring of support for this crucial land use program will surely have an impact in the upcoming budget negotiations.

If you would like to thank your Senator and Assembly Members who signed on the group letter to the governor, their names are as follows: Senators Aanestad, Ashburn, Cogdill, Cox, Denham, and Maldonado; Assembly Members Adams, Aghazarian, Arambula, Benoit, Berg, Berryhill, Blakeslee, Caballero, Cook, DeSaulnier, Evans, Fuller, Gaines, Galgiani, Garcia, Hancock, Houston, Huffman, Jeffries, Keene, LaMalfa, Lieber, Maze, Mullin, Nakanishi, Nava, Parra, Runner, Strickland, and Wolk.

SB 719 sailed out of the Senate and is scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Local Government Committee on June 27th. This piece of legislation will add two Governor’s
appointments to the eight-county San Joaquin Valley Air Quality Management District. Senator Mike Machado (D-Linden) has unsuccessfully proposed several combinations of additional air district appointments over the past several years. There is no question the SJV air board is faced with significant challenges in improving the valley’s air quality. Consequently, it is important to note their success in reaching federal attainment for PM-10 last year, thus proving they can and are dealing with air quality goals and do not need Sacramento appointees to achieve these accomplishments. CFBF opposes SB 719.

Another Senate bill that could have a huge impact on growers in the eight counties of the San Joaquin Valley is SB 240 (Dean Florez, D-Shafter). SB 240 creates an air surcharge of up to $300 annually per source on all stationary, indirect and area wide sources, which could include much of the agricultural equipment currently under district authority. SB 240 also authorizes the district to increase surcharges on vehicle licensing fees to a maximum of $30 annually per motor vehicle and adopt rules and regulations to reduce vehicle trips and air pollution from vehicular sources that the state only has authority for currently. SB 240 was approved by the Senate Environmental Quality Committee on a 4-2 vote and will now head to the Senate floor. SB 240 only becomes effective if SB 719 (that adds 2 Governor’s appointments to the SJV air board) is enacted. CFBF opposes.

AB 1223, by Assembly Member Juan Arambula (D-Fresno) would enable agricultural electricity customers to use aggregated account data for purposes of net metering in solar and wind programs. Aggregated accounts must all be owned by the same customer and located on property adjacent to or contiguous to the generation facility. The bill passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee and has moved to the Assembly Floor. CFBF is in support.

AB 1428, by Assembly Member Cathleen Galgiani (D-Tracy) would provide the same incentives to on-farm generation of electricity for manure-fueled facilities as is applicable to biogas digesters. The expansion of incentives is targeted for poultry producers. The incentives would allow for net metering in the same manner as currently available for biogas digesters. The bill passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee and has moved to the Assembly Floor. CFBF is in support.

SB 463, by Senator Negrete McLeod (D-Chino) would allow a biogas digester customer-generator and an electrical corporation to enter into an agreement to pay the customer for energy produced beyond what the customer is able to use on-site before the end of the year. Under existing law any excess energy produced is not compensated. The bill is in Senate Appropriations. CFBF is in support.

Home Contact


              Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM  Pacific

             Copyright © klamathbasincrisis.org, 2007, All Rights Reserved