Family farmers and ranchers aim to block damaging legislation
» August 16, 2007 «
Identifying seven bills that threaten family farms and ranches, the California Farm Bureau Federation said its members will mobilize to encourage defeat of the bills in the state Legislature.
In letters delivered to legislators, Farm Bureau said the bills weaken the business climate and throw obstacles in the way of farmers' work to provide safe, affordable food and farm products in a sustainable manner.
"Consumers depend on California farmers and ranchers for the products they need every day, and farmers depend on state government to establish policies that allow us to thrive," California Farm Bureau President Doug Mosebar said. "Family farmers and ranchers will make sure our policymakers understand how these proposals would harm us."
The Farm Bureau will tabulate legislators' votes on each of the priority bills for its legislative scorecard, to help constituents evaluate their individual representatives.
Mosebar said Farm Bureau members urge legislators to vote against the following bills:
- Senate Bill 180 (Migden, D-San Francisco): Strips farm employees of their right to a secure, secret-ballot election by substituting an unprotected process known as "majority sign-up election";
- SB 719 (Machado, D-Linden): Undermines government accountability by expanding the San Joaquin Unified Air Pollution Control Board to include appointed members who would be neither accountable to district residents nor elected by constituents;
- SB 974 (Lowenthal, D-Long Beach): Threatens the business climate by imposing new taxes on all containerized cargo moving through California ports, with the resulting increase in shipping costs putting the state's farmers and ranchers at a competitive disadvantage;
- Assembly Bill 8 (Núñez, D-Los Angeles): Imposes a tax on farmers, ranchers and other small employers to fund health-care coverage for those who do not purchase it themselves;
- AB 377 (Arambula, D-Fresno): Holds farmers responsible for illegal activities of farm labor contractors, over which farmers have no control, by requiring contractors to disclose on employees' pay stubs the name and address of the farm that secured the contractor's services;
- AB 1100 (Ruskin, D-Redwood City) and SB 63 (Migden, D-San Francisco): Threatens the availability of production practices by requiring meat or milk from cloned animals or their progeny to be labeled, essentially banning new technology with benefits to farmers, ranchers and consumers.
The list of key legislation and Farm Bureau positions may change as bills are amended. Farm Bureau bases its positions on policies described in its Protecting California Family Farms plan, which may be read online at www.cfbf.com/familyfarms.
The California Farm Bureau Federation, the state's largest farm organization, works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of nearly 92,000 members
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