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California Farm Bureau Federation Friday Review

JUNE 15, 2007

The CFBF Board voted to oppose the recently amended version of AB 771 (Kevin De Leon, D-Los Angeles) on Wednesday. This bill allows growers of seedless mandarin varieties in Madera, Fresno, Kern, and Tulare counties to form two-mile buffer zones around their properties for the 2008 season. Honey bees would be banned from these buffer zones for the bloom period of the seedless citrus trees. The bill also requires the California Department of Food and Agriculture to develop regulations by 2009 to control honey bees in areas with seedless citrus plantings. The board deliberated extensively on the repercussions of this legislation and ultimately determined that the precedent setting nature of creating buffer zones beyond one’s own property has negative implications for private property rights. The bill is set for a hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday. CFBF has communicated its opposition to the bill to the members of the committee and will present testimony at next week’s hearing.

SB 180 (Carole Migden, D-San Francisco), which would circumvent the secret ballot election process under the Agriculture Labor Relations Act, has passed its first legislative test in the Assembly with a straight partisan vote in the Labor and Employment Committee. It now goes to the Assembly Appropriations Committee before going to the Assembly Floor.

Farm Bureau, along with other employer groups, and the Schwarzenegger Administration, continue to oppose SB180 on the basis that it undermines the right of employees to cast a secret ballot election for union representation by substituting it with a signature card from a union organizer.

Farm Bureau continues to urge County Farm Bureaus and their members to write Assembly Members urging a “NO” vote on SB180 – Please refer to the “Farm Team Alert” for a sample letter or click here.

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