Capitol Alert


Issue Date: September 14, 2011

Your Guide to Legislation that Impacts California Family Farmers and Ranchers

Legislators worked late into the night in order to meet the Sept. 9 deadline to take final action on state legislation. This past week leading up to the deadline was the "make-or-break" period for bills. Some were sent to the inactive file or stopped completely, while other bills were passed by both houses and sent to Gov. Brown's office.

Assembly Bill X1 24 (Blumenfield, D-Los Angeles) and Senate Bill X1 7 (Senate Budget & Finance Committee) were addressed last week by the Assembly and Senate Budget Committees. These bills would have imposed sweeping new fire protection fees on landowners living in State Responsibility Areas.

Thanks to the help of our FARM TEAM members, ABX1 24 and SBX1 7 were dismissed by the budget committees and will not proceed to the governor's desk. Lawmakers received almost 800 messages from FARM TEAM members urging them to reject these bills. This shows that when we work together, we can make a difference.

On the final day of the legislative year, the Legislature also passed a bill to revise the state Agricultural Labor Relations Act. The bill marks a departure from current law, but it retains the secret ballot for unionization elections (See related story).

The following is a recap of the status of our key bills following the Legislature's final deadline for action. To read the bill descriptions and learn more about the progression of the bills, visit our FARM TEAM action center at www.cfbf.com.

Look for your next opportunity to weigh in on legislation by checking for FARM TEAM alerts in your email inbox or by looking for the Take Action buttons in future Capitol Alert columns.

Farm Bureau SUPPORTS this legislation:

Passed out of both houses and sent to the governor:
AB 6 (Fuentes, D-Los Angeles) Streamlining CalFresh
AB 69 (Beall, D-San Jose) Senior Nutrition Benefits
AB 228 (Fuentes, D-Los Angeles) State Compensation Insurance Fund
AB 634 (Huber, D-El Dorado Hills) Vertebrate Pest Control
AB 964 (Huffman, D-San Rafael) Conditional Water Rights
SB 489 (Wolk, D-Davis) Net Metering
SB 618 (Wolk, D-Davis) Williamson Act & Solar Projects

Placed in the inactive file:
AB 292 (Galgiani, D-Livingston) High Speed Rail Agricultural Advisory
SB 900 (Steinberg, D-Sacramento) Regional Water Quality Control Boards

Farm Bureau OPPOSES this legislation:

Passed out of both houses and sent to the governor:
AB 243 (Alejo, D-Salinas) Farm Labor Contractor Disclosure
AB 1155 (Alejo, D-Salinas) Workers' Compensation Insurance
SB 459 (Corbett, D-San Leandro) Independent Contractors
SB 931 (Evans, D-Santa Rosa) Payroll Cards

Denies employees of protection currently seen through the convenience of payroll cards by adding regulations onto employers and financial institutions, making the use of payroll cards unlikely. SB 931 was gutted and amended to include the language from AB 51 (Yamada, D-Davis) in the final days of the session.

Placed in the inactive file:
AB 197 (Monning, D-Carmel) Recovery of Wages: Liquidated Damages
AB 246 (Wieckowski, D-Fremont) Water Quality Enforcement
AB 276 (Alejo, D-Salinas) Agricultural Bargaining Agreements
AB 1062 (Dickinson, D-Sacramento) Arbitration Agreements

Failed to advance out of committee:
AB 51 (Yamada, D-Davis) Payroll Cards
AB 685 (Eng, D-Monterey Park) Accessibility of Water
ABX1 24 (Blumenfield, D-Los Angeles) Fire Protection Fees
SB 535 (De Leon, D-Los Angeles) Climate Change Fund
SB 829 (DeSaulnier, D-Concord) Cal/OSHA Appeals
SBX1 7 (Budget & Finance Committee) Fire Protection Fees

Permission for use is granted, however, credit must be made to the California Farm Bureau Federation when reprinting this item.