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in the KNOW

April 24, 2015

In the Legislature…

State Capitol

State Capitol

Dairy Committee Meets with Legislators 
Ag Council’s Dairy Committee held a breakfast with legislators in Sacramento on April 23.

The breakfast gave our dairy members the opportunity to connect with elected officials and discuss critical water issues at the top the minds of legislators. Our members discussed their water use efficiency and recycling efforts with the legislators.

The Dairy Committee is working to build a stronger dialogue with legislators regarding policies impacting California dairy farmers.

Hearing on the Use of Antibiotics in Livestock & Poultry
During a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on April 21, Ag Council expressed concerns about SB 27 by Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo). SB 27 would restrict the use of antibiotics in livestock and poultry.

The measure was approved in the Senate Agriculture Committee and is awaiting consideration by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Ag Council continues to work, along with an ag coalition, to improve the bill.

On the Legislative Docket Next Week…

Numerous bills are up for consideration in the hearing process during the week of April 27, and Ag Council is weighing-in on the following bills, among others:

AB 1390 – Legislation pertaining to adjudications by Assemblyman Alejo (D-Watsonville). Ag Council supports AB 1390. The bill streamlines the groundwater adjudication process by which courts may undertake determinations of groundwater rights in a basin. The bill protects water rights.

SB 20 – Bill relating to well logs by Senator Pavley (D-Agoura Hills). Ag Council is opposed to the bill.  SB 20 would make well logs publicly available. Agencies that need well log data already have access to the information. This data is confidential and releasing it to the public does not provide any advantage, except to render it subject to litigation.

SB 226 – Groundwater bill by Senator Pavley (D-Agoura Hills). Ag Council is opposed to SB 226. This measure makes changes to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, approved in 2014, in a manner that raises concerns relating to water rights.

SB 32 – Greenhouse Gas Emissions measure by Senator Pavley (D-Agoura Hills). Ag Council is opposed.  SB 32 requires the Air Resources Board reduce emissions to 80 percent below the 1990 level by the year 2050.

SB 119 – Bill relating to excavations (811-Call before you dig program) by Senator Hill (D-San Mateo).  SB 119 requires the state to adopt a program to enforce violations of provisions relating to excavation. Ag Council opposes this bill unless it is amended to address agriculture’s concerns, and we are working to achieve this goal.

SB 687 – Biomethane mandate bill by Senator Allen (D-Santa Monica). Ag Council is opposed to SB 687. This measure would lead to higher costs, is a double tax on businesses in the cap & trade program and makes California businesses less competitive.

If you have questions about any of the above measures, please call Ag Council at ph. (916) 443-4887.

Ag Council Raises Concerns about Sustainable Freight Strategy

On April 23, Ag Council staff testified at the California Air Resources Board (ARB) hearing expressing concerns regarding the Sustainable Freight Strategy.

ARB released the Sustainable Freight: Pathways to Zero and Near-Zero Emissions Discussion Draft. This document is a collection of proposed immediate, near-term and longer term measures, which will feed into other State planning efforts, such as AB 32 Scoping Plan Updates and the 2016 Short-lived Climate Pollutant Strategy.

This report is important because it sets the stage for what ARB, and possibly the South Coast and San Joaquin Valley Air Districts will propose for the freight sector. The goal of this effort is to make progress in moving domestic and international cargo more efficiently, with zero and near zero emissions where feasible.

Click HERE to read the letter on April 20 highlighting our concerns. If you have any questions, please contact Rachael O’Brien at ph. (916) 443-4887.

Jeana Hultquist Honored with Common Threads Award

Jeana Hultquist - Photo Courtesy of Common Threads

Jeana Hultquist – Photo Courtesy of Common Threads

Congratulations to Jeana Hultquist for being honored on April 16 with the Common Threads Award given for outstanding service, dedication and philanthropy.

Common Threads North, through the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation, recognizes exceptional women in agriculture. Jeana, along with three other women, received the Common Threads award at a luncheon in Chico.

Jeana is truly deserving of this honor having demonstrated exceptional commitment and service as an influential Ag Council board member. She begins her new legislative affairs position at American AgCredit in May, and we look forward to working with her in this new capacity.