Oct. 10, 2012
Almond Board
Almond Board of California Legislative Report: Update on Issues Affecting California's Almond Industry

Congress

  • Congress recesses without taking action on Farm Bill - - The House recessed without passing the 2012 Farm Bill, with leadership indicating it may be taken up upon their return in November.  The 2008 Farm Bill expired on September 30, leaving 37 programs without funding including MAP/FMD, some commodity programs, research programs including the Specialty Crop Block Grants and the Specialty Crop Research Initiative.  Without a new farm bill or an extension of the 2008 Farm Bill, agriculture policy will revert back to the 1949 legislation on January 1, 2013.  It is unlikely legislators would allow this to happen, but they will be on a tight schedule to get the bill through a conference committee and passed by both Houses before they recess again in December.  However, ag leaders are hopeful the legislation will get passed during the lame duck session.

State Legislature

  • Gov. Brown vetoes two ag heat regulation bills  - - Gov. Brown has vetoed two pieces of legislation related to heat regulations for farm workers. Brown vetoed Assembly Bill 2676 by Assemblyman Charles Calderon (D-Whittier) that would have made it a crime for farmers not to provide adequate shade and water to their field workers  and Assembly Bill 2346 by Assemblywoman Betsy Butler (D-Los Angeles) which would have  created new standards for protecting farmworkers from heat-related illness. In his AB 2676 veto message, Brown noted that California has enhanced its safety regulations in recent years and has the most stringent standards in the nation to protect workers in all outdoor industries. "While I believe enforcement of our heat standards can be improved, I am not convinced that creating a new crime -- and a crime that applies only to one group of employers -- is the answer," Brown wrote. "Instead, we should continue to enforce our stringent standards for the benefit of all workers in all industries." To read Brown’s AB 2676 veto message, please click here.  http://gov.ca.gov/docs/AB_2676_Veto_Message.pdf

    In his veto message of AB 2346, Brown said, “This bill is flawed. It would create through legislation a new enforcement structure that would single out agricultural employers and burden the courts with private lawsuits. I believe the regulatory process is more flexible and the better way to improve standards for farm workers.”  To read Brown’s AB 2346 veto message, please click here.  http://gov.ca.gov/docs/AB_2346_Veto_Message.pdf

  • California Legislator Voting Record on-line - - For the first time, you can look up the voting record of every state legislator in California. Wondering how often your legislator broke party ranks, abstained or switched sides? Enter the last and first name of the lawmaker you're researching to see how he or she voted, or enter a bill number to see how every legislator voted on it. The online database is located at http://www.sacbee.com/votingrecord/

Pesticides

  • DPR names new legislative and regulatory director - - Tina Andolina, 36, of Davis, has been appointed director of legislation and regulation at the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. Andolina has served as legislative consultant for Senator Lois Wolk since 2010 and was legislative director at the Planning and Conservation League from 2007 to 2010. She was campaign associate at the Coalition for Clean Air from 2005 to 2007, outreach director at the California Wilderness Coalition from 2000 to 2005 and campaign director at the Friends of the Trinity River from 1997 to 2000. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $85,008. Andolina is a Democrat.
     

Air Quality

  • New California laws set up framework for spending cap-and-trade revenue - -  Gov. Jerry Brown  has signed two bills establishing general guidelines on how the expected $1 billion-plus in annual revenue from cap-and-trade regulations will be spent. Assembly Bill 1532, by Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) requires that the money be spent on environmental purposes, with an emphasis on improving air quality.  Senate Bill 535, by Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) requires that at least 25 percent of the money be spent on projects that help "identified disadvantaged communities." At least 10 percent must be spent on projects specifically within those communities. The Legislature, the Department of Finance and the California Air Resources Board will oversee the expenditures. The revenue will come from a series of state-run auctions of greenhouse-gas emissions allowances, better known as the cap-and-trade program. The first auction is set for Nov. 14.

Water

 

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