Oct. 10, 2013
 

California Legislature 

  • Link to almond bills sent to Governor

  • Legislative update Sept . 13, 2013

  • Governor signs bill allowing undocumented residents access to California driver’s license - - Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 60 into law to allow undocumented residents to apply for and receive a driver’s license if they are able to show appropriate identification and receive proper training and education.  The bill goes into effect no later than January 1, 2015.

  • Governor signs minimum wage increase - - Governor Brown signed legislation AB 10 increasing California’s minimum wage to $10 per hour by 2016.  The increase will occur in increments.  The current minimum wage of $8 per hour will increase to $9 on July 1, 2014 and then to $10 on Jan. 1, 2016.  The increase is the first to the state’s minimum wage in six years.

  • Governor signs fracking legislation - - Governor Brown signed legislation SB 4 to regulate hydraulic fracturing and other well stimulation procedures. The new law requires permitting of wells, notification of neighbors living near drilling and a study of fracking’s impact on the environment.  Fracking is the injection of mixtures of sand, water and chemicals to free oil and natural gas trapped deep underground in shale formations.

AIR QUALITY

  • Valley tractor replacement program offers financial incentives  - -  
    The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District’s Agricultural Tractor/Mobile Equipment Replacement Program provides financial incentives to reduce emissions from mobile agricultural equipment. Eligible equipment must be off-road and self-propelled, have an uncontrolled (Tier 0) or Tier 1 engine, and operate at least 75 percent of the time in California and 50 percent of the time in the San Joaquin Valley air district. Projects are funded on a first-come, first-served basis. Funding amounts are based on a dollar per horsepower table as determined by the advertised horsepower of the engine in the new tractor, not to exceed 80% of the eligible costs. For a full list of program eligibility criteria and funding tables please visit http://valleyair.org/grants/tractorreplacement.htm

  • Carl Moyer program funding bill signed by Governor - - Gov. Brown on Sept. 28, 2013 signed AB 8 by Assemblyman Henry Perea (D-Fresno) which extends funding for the Carl Moyer program, among other air quality and transportation programs. This measure received considerable support from the agricultural community because it is a useful tool to incentivize significant reductions in air emissions by funding cleaner-than-required engines.

Water

  • DWR releases key water planning document - - The Department of Water Resources is releasing the California Water Plan Update 2013 in separate volumes through October 23.  The update provides a comprehensive picture of California’s water supply, needs, evolving integrated water management and projections of future demands and is divided between three volumes.  Comments are due 45 days after the release of each volume.  Volumes 4 and 5, covering the assumptions, data, metadata and supporting documentation behind the Plan, will be available March 2014 but only in electronic form.

Congress

  • Farm Bill Expires - - The 2008 Farm Bill expired for the second time on September 30, although many farm programs have funding through December 31.  The House voted to combine the separately passed farm and nutrition bills and the Senate has re-appointed conferees and requested a conference with the House.  Speaker John Boehner has not yet named House conferees. 

  • House Democrats Release Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill - - House Democrats introduced a comprehensive immigration reform bill identical to the one passed by the Senate in early July with one exception.  The House bill removes Senate border security language and substitutes a border proposal passed by the House Homeland Security Committee that requires the Department of Homeland Security to write a plan to ensure the apprehension of 90 percent of illegal border-crossers in high-traffic areas within two years and across the entire southern border within five years.  House Republicans have shown preference to addressing immigration in a more piecemeal approach as a total of five separate immigration bills have been passed by House committees to date.  House Leadership has not yet scheduled floor debate on any of those five bills.

  • Federal Government Shuts Down - - The first shutdown of government agencies since 1996 became a reality on October 1, when Congress was unable to pass a stopgap funding measure by the start of the new fiscal year.  The Senate refused to accept the House language to defund or delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act as part of the Continuing Resolution.  An estimated 800,000 nonessential federal workers were furloughed including employees of federal agencies, congressional offices and the White House. Federal offices and parks were closed and government services to veterans, seniors and others have been scaled back.  Medicare, Social Security, military work and public-safety functions have continued.  Negotiations between the House and Senate continue.

 

PESTICIDES

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California Senate

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