in the KNOW

January 27, 2012

World Ag Expo

Don’t Miss Out—Join Ag Council at the World Ag Expo on Feb. 15th

Ag Council members, prospective members and friends are invited to a breakfast hosted by Ag Council at the World Ag Expo in Tulare, CA on February 15, 2012 at 9 a.m. The breakfast will be held in the Hospitality Event Center tent located at Median and S Streets on the Expo showgrounds.

Ag Council’s breakfast will feature journalist and columnist, Dan Walters, as the keynote speaker. Join us for this exciting event as Ag Council kicks off 2012.

There is no charge for the breakfast. RSVP is required as seating is limited. Please email Rebecca Osumi at rebecca@agcouncil.org if you’d like to attend.


Redistricting Maps

Challenge to State Senate Maps Rebuffed by CA Supreme Court

In a ruling released today by the California Supreme Court, state Senate district maps are left to stand as created by the Citizens Redistricting Commission last year. Under the decision, state Senate candidates must campaign using district maps developed by the Commission, even in the face of a pending referendum to overturn the new state Senate maps.

The referendum could be placed on the November 2012 ballot if 504,760 of the over 711,000 signatures collected in favor of the measure are valid. Elections officials are currently working to verify whether the signatures collected are from valid voters.

The referendum is backed by a Republican-led organization concerned the new Senate maps favor Democrats gaining a 2/3 majority in the state Senate, which is the supermajority needed in that legislative body to raise taxes and fees.


Health Care

Bill to Create Single-Payer Health Care System Fails in State Senate

State legislation to implement a single-payer health care system failed to pass by two votes in the Senate this week. One Democrat joined Republicans to vote against the bill, and four Democrats abstained from the vote.

A single-payer health care system, often called universal health care, is where a public agency would administer health insurance for all Californians.

Senator Mark Leno (D-SF) is the author of the bill, SB 810. If passed, the measure would cost an estimated $250 billion annually and would be paid for through higher taxes that must be approved by California voters.

Click here for a Sacramento Bee article about SB 810.


Tax Initiative

Survey Reveals Robust Public Support for Governor’s Tax Initiative

The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) released a survey this week showing strong support for Governor Jerry Brown’s tax initiative, with 68 percent of likely voters favoring the plan.

The survey also reveals 85 percent of Democrats and 65 percent of independents support the plan to temporarily increase the state sales tax and raise personal income taxes on Californians with higher incomes. Fifty three percent of Republicans surveyed approve of the tax plan.

According to Brown, the initiative would generate $7 billion annually in income and sales tax revenue through 2017 by temporarily raising income taxes on those earning $250,000 or more, along with a half-cent state sales tax increase.

Governor Brown continues to travel the state to drum-up support for the initiative. Over 800,000 valid signatures are required for the tax initiative to be placed on the November 2012 ballot. The signatures must be gathered by June 18, 2012.

To read more details about the findings in the PPIC survey, click here.


Pest Management

Pest Management Alliance Grant Process Open at DPR

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is accepting applications for projects using integrated pest management (IPM) strategies to lower pesticide use. A total of $400,000 per project is available in Pest Management Alliance funding for 2012-2013.

DPR requests that projects focus on implementation of agricultural or urban IPM practices reducing risks to human health and the environment. A key element needed in the approved projects is the creation of an alliance, essentially a team of individuals representing public, private, agricultural, educational and other stakeholders involved in the adoption of the IPM effort.

The grant application is a two-stage process. Brief conceptual descriptions of projects are due February 6, 2012. Applicants whose concepts are highly ranked in the first stage will be invited to submit a full proposal by April 5, 2012.

Click here for the Pest Management Grant Solicitation link. Contact Ann Schaffner at DPR for further information at ph. (916) 324-4156 or email at aschaffner@cdpr.ca.gov.