Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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September 6, 2013
Both the Assembly and Senate were in session today and adjourned much earlier than the circulating rumors had speculated. Next week is the final week for bills to be heard and voted on in either house with the 2013 legislative session ending at midnight Friday, September 13, although there are also rumors that they may adjourn on September 12. We will publish an update on all final legislative actions next Friday. Bills that are approved will be sent on to enrollment and then to the Governor for his action. The Governor will have until October 13 to sign or veto bills passed by the legislature on or before September 13 and in his possession after September 13. Any bills in his possession, but not acted upon by the deadline will automatically become law on January 1, 2014.
AB 924 (Frank Bigelow, R-O’Neals) would increase the fines for individuals convicted of livestock theft to $5,000, and provide those fines to CDFA’s Bureau of Livestock Identification for investigation of future cases of livestock theft. AB 924 (Bigelow) passed off of the Senate Floor this week with a vote of 37-0 and the Assembly concurred in Senate amendments 72-0. The bill now goes to the Governor. Farm Bureau supports AB 924.
AB 904 (Wesley Chesbro, D-Arcata) would create a Working Forest Management Plan, which would allow timber landowners with up to 15,000 acres the ability to create a long term management plan. In return for giving up their right to use even-aged timber management they would be able to harvest without going through the timber harvest permitting process. This program would be similar to the existing Non-Industrial Timber Management Plan for timber landowners with less than 2,500 acres. Unfortunately, due to significant environmental opposition, Assembly Member Chesbro amended the bill to exclude the Southern Sub-District, which includes Marin County south to Santa Cruz County, from the provisions of the bill. With this amendment, the bill passed off of the Senate Floor with a vote of 35-1. Farm Bureau is in support of AB 904.
SB 591 (Anthony Canella, R-Ceres), which allows Merced Irrigation District to calculate its renewable energy needs in a manner that accounts for its ownership of New Exchequer Dam hydroelectric generation, is on the Governor’s desk for action. The bill provides that MID is not required to procure additional renewable energy if the portion of its retail sales supplied by its own large hydroelectric generation exceeds the applicable renewable target. CFBF is in support. AB 793 (Adam Gray, D-Merced), the companion legislation on the Assembly side, was moved to the inactive file, since only one of the bills needs to be sent to the Governor.
SB 435 (Alex Padilla, D-Pacoima) initially required employers to pay employees at their piece-rate earning rate for on the clock breaks; including those taken pursuant to law in the morning, afternoon and for heat illness prevention breaks. Subsequent amendments accepted by the author placed violation of the requirement to allow heat illness prevention breaks on a par with failing to allow rest periods, punishable by one hour of pay at the regular rate of pay. The Senate concurred on the amendments with a 25-12 vote. Farm Bureau and other agricultural groups removed opposition upon inclusion of the latest amendments.
AB 976 (Toni Atkins, D-San Diego) that would grant the California Coastal Commission administrative fine authority was approved by the Senate on a vote of 21 to 18. The bill was amended on the Senate Floor this week to clarify that daily fines will continue to accrue after the bill’s automatic repeal on January 1, 2019 and caps the daily fines of up to $11,250 at five years or $20,531,250. The debate on the bill was spirited and Senator Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) offered four sets of floor amendments that were all rejected by a parliamentary procedure to “lay the amendments on the table” on a party-line vote.
The roll call on AB 976 was as follows: “AYES”:
Farm Bureau remains strongly opposed to AB 976.
On September 4, the Senate confirmed the nomination of Cathryn Rivera-Hernandez to the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB), by a vote of 38-0. Governor Brown appointed her to the ALRB January 1, 2013. Ms. Rivera-Hernandez has served in the Office of the Governor since 1999 and was responsible for overseeing Administration policy, budget and legislative initiatives within the Health and Human Services Agency, Youth and Adult Correctional Authority, Office of Emergency Services and the Office of Criminal Justice and Planning. As a Special Legal Counsel, Ms. Rivera-Hernandez also worked with the Office of Legal Affairs on significant legal matters arising with the agencies. Both Governor’s Davis and Schwarzenegger previously appointed Ms. Rivera-Hernandez to the ALRB during their administrations. Farm Bureau did not take a position on the nomination.
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Page Updated: Tuesday September 10, 2013 12:33 AM Pacific
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