Updated August 28, 2015
Your Guide to Legislation that Impacts California Family Farmers and Ranchers
Legislators are hard at work this week, reviewing hundreds of bills that need to be acted on before the Sept. 11 deadline. A number of bills that were heard in the Senate and Assembly appropriations committees were sent to the "suspense file." Bills that have a certain cost associated with them are sent to the suspense file, where they are held until the committee can assess cost and the state's financial situation. The deadline for acting on these bills in committee is this Friday, Aug. 28.
While action often comes quickly during the end of the legislative session, you can always check the current status of the bills we are watching by clicking on the Farm Team icon at www.cfbf.com and viewing the key bills list.
Farm Bureau SUPPORTS this legislation that would help family farms and ranches:
Assembly Bill 20 (Alejo, D-Salinas) - Undocumented Workers: California Agricultural Act
AB 20 addresses the need for a reliable workforce in agriculture by urging congressional action on immigration reform, and by identifying required actions by the California Employment Development Department and the California Department of Food and Agriculture to facilitate the operation in California of a program authorized by Congress to allow the present agricultural workforce to work legally. AB 20 is currently on the Senate Appropriations Committee suspense file.
AB 515 (Eggman, D-Stockton) - Income Tax Credit: Food Bank Donations
AB 515 broadens the state income tax credit for donations of food to food banks and extends the sunset date from 2017 to 2024. AB 515 is currently on the Senate Appropriations Committee suspense file.
AB 1390 (Alejo, D-Salinas) - Groundwater: Adjudication
AB 1390 addresses key time elements, making the groundwater rights adjudication process more efficient and providing stability to farmers and ranchers. AB 1390 is currently on the Senate Appropriations Committee suspense file.
AB 1506 (Hernandez, D-West Covina) - Labor Code: Wage Statements
AB 1506 provides employers with a limited opportunity to cure technical Labor Code violations in an itemized wage statement before being subjected to costly litigation. AB 1506 is awaiting action on the Senate floor.
Farm Bureau OPPOSES this legislation that would harm family farms and ranches:
Senate Bill 3 (Leno, D-San Francisco) - Minimum Wage
SB 3 increases the California minimum wage to $11 per hour in 2016 and $13 per hour in 2017, and indexes it for inflation thereafter. SB 3 is currently on the Assembly Appropriations Committee suspense file.
SB 32 (Pavley, D-Agoura Hills) - Climate Change Mandate
SB 32 extends the state's mandatory greenhouse gas emissions reduction program to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. SB 32 is currently on the Assembly Appropriations Committee suspense file.
SB 226 (Pavley, D-Agoura Hills) - Sustainable Groundwater Management Act
SB 226 makes additional changes to the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act that authorize the state to intervene in an adjudication if it claims an interest on behalf of the environment. SB 226 was held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee and will not advance in this legislative session.
SB 350 (de Leon, D-Los Angeles) - Energy Efficiency Mandate
SB 350 imposes arbitrary and unrealistic mandates for energy and efficiency standards, to be achieved by 2030: a 50 percent reduction of petroleum use; a 50 percent increase in the current Renewable Portfolio Standard; and a 50 percent energy efficiency increase in buildings. SB 350 is currently on the Assembly Appropriations Committee suspense file.
SB 406 (Jackson, D-Santa Barbara) - Employment: Leave
SB 406 expands the California Family Rights Act to cover employers with 25 employees within a 75-mile radius of the employee's worksite. Current law applies the right to take family leave under CFRA to employees of employers with 50 employees within a 75-mile radius of the employee's worksite. SB 406 is currently on the Assembly Appropriations Committee suspense file.
AB 465 (Hernandez, D-West Covina) - Employment: Anti-Arbitration Clause
AB 465 prohibits employers from having job applicants sign a pre-employment agreement where an employee agrees to allow all employment-related disputes to be settled by an arbitrator. The Assembly concurred with the amendments made in the Senate on a 46-31 vote. AB 465 now awaits action by Gov. Brown.
AB 561 (Campos,D-San Jose) - Agricultural Labor Relations Board
AB 561 seeks to limit an employer's due process rights by requiring they first post a bond in the amount of the entire economic value of the order when seeking a writ of review of any Agricultural Labor Relations Board decision. AB 561 is currently on the Senate Appropriations Committee suspense file.