in the KNOWN

In the Know Newsletter

February 2, 2018

Bill to Increase Pesticide Fines Fails Passage in the Assembly

A bill to increase civil penalties for pesticide violations failed to pass the Assembly on January 29. AB 1419 by Assemblyman Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) would have authorized the Department of Pesticide Regulation to raise fines for civil penalties from the current $5,000 to a ceiling of up to $25,000 for pesticide violations.

Eighteen Democrats either declined to vote on AB 1419 or voted against it when the bill came up for a vote; thereby, preventing the measure from attaining the 41 votes necessary to pass the Assembly. Republican legislators also voted to oppose AB 1419. Agricultural groups, including Ag Council, opposed the bill given that the current enforcement structure is appropriate—where penalties are associated with the severity of conduct.

Gov. Brown Announces 2018-2019 Cap and Trade Expenditure Plan

Governor Jerry Brown laid out a $1.25 billion Cap and Trade Expenditure Plan for 2018-2019 on January 26.
For agriculture, the plan includes the following allocations: $102 million for ag diesel engine replacement and upgrades, $99 million for dairy manure methane reductions via programs at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, $34 million for improving energy efficiencies and greenhouse gas reductions at food processing facilities, $5 million for the Healthy Soils Program and $4 million for renewable energy efforts within agriculture. The funds derive from entities participating in California’s Cap and Trade Program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which include some Ag Council members.

Agricultural groups, including Ag Council, continue to work with the governor and his staff to ensure funding is provided to the agricultural sector to lower emissions and achieve the ambitious goals set by the state to reduce both mobile source and greenhouse gas emissions.

Click HERE to view the expenditure plan released by the governor.

Op-Ed by Ag Council President in the Sacramento Bee

In case you missed it, an op-ed by Ag Council President Emily Rooney and Community Water Center Policy Director Jonathan Nelson was published in the Sacramento Bee on January 22 touting the need for the Legislature to solve California’s drinking water crisis.

Ag Council was at the negotiating table to help develop a legislative solution, SB 623 by Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel), to establish a drinking water fund for communities desperately in need of safe drinking water along with a path for farmers to achieve regulatory compliance with the State Water Resources Control Board, while in the short-term protecting farmers from certain nitrate-related enforcement actions.

Governor Brown committed funding in his 2018-2019 budget plan to take the initial steps to provide safe drinking water for all Californians and expressed support for SB 623. In addition, the text of SB 623 is now in a trailer bill, which is a measure that makes changes to law and is negotiated as part of the state budget. Ag Council appreciates the governor’s commitment and is urging legislators to join together in 2018 to guarantee safe and affordable drinking water for all Californians.

To read the op-ed, published in the Sacramento Bee, click HERE.