Our Klamath Basin
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
May 15, 2009
California Farm Bureau Federation
Friday Review of Bills
SB 413 (Denise Ducheny, D-San Diego) would have required waste
dischargers, including some permitted
agricultural operations to pay an annual fee to update water
quality control plans, also known as basin plans.
The basin plans were developed in 1975 to qualify California for
federal funding, to update water treatment
facilities. Through bond funding, the state paid for contractors
to develop the basin plans and they have not been
adequately funded since. Farm Bureau arranged discussions between
the author and other farm and business
organizations about possible amendments that could facilitate
funding basin plan amendments without a
mandatory fee. As a result of discussions and the authorís
willingness to listen and understand concerns, the bill
has been pulled by the author and is now a two-year bill.
AB 64 (Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles and Paul Krekorian, D-Burbank)
was extensively amended subsequent to
its hearing in the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources. AB 64
is the Assemblyís omnibus renewable
portfolio standard legislation to increase the requirement to
procure at least 33% of the electricity for customers
from renewable energy resources by 2020.
Much of the language that prompted Farm Bureau to take an oppose
position on the bill has been removed from
the bill. That language would have established the Renewable
Infrastructure Authority. The Authority would
have been given very broad powers and the use of eminent domain to
implement them. In lieu of the Authority
the bill would establish an Energy Planning and Infrastructure
Coordinating Committee (EPIC Committee),
which will be tasked with identifying appropriate areas for
renewable generation and designating and ranking
transmission corridors. Farm Bureau is currently assessing the new
language to determine how the bill would
affect current transmission planning. Discussions have begun about
how to coordinate the Assembly version
and two Senate versions of the renewable portfolio standard
legislation. The bill is awaiting a hearing in the
Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Labor and employment-related legislative measures Farm Bureau is
following continue to progress through the
AB 793 (Dave Jones, D-Sacramento), which would dramatically amend
state law to expand workplace
discrimination causes of action, was passed in the Senate on May
14. AB 793 specifies that the statute of
limitations restarts with each pay period even if the original
discriminatory policy was instituted years or
decades ago, opening new avenues for discrimination lawsuits.
AB 854 (Juan Arambula, D-Fresno) which would require a Farm Labor
Contractor to certify there are no court
judgments or Labor Commissioner orders related to unpaid wages
against him or her when seeking renewal of
his or her state FLC license, is pending before Assembly
Appropriations and is on the Suspension suspension.
Farm Bureau remains neutral at this time.
Saturday May 16, 2009 01:28 AM Pacific
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