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in the KNOW

November 2, 2012

Clock Ticking toward Election Day

With the November 6 election just days away, the final push to the finish line is underway for candidates and ballot measures.

Prop 30—Increases State Taxes for Education 
Governor Jerry Brown continues to fiercely defend his tax-hike measure, Prop 30, while traveling throughout the state to gain voter support for the measure.

Prop 30 would raise state personal income taxes on earnings over $250,000 for seven years and increase the state sales tax by ¼ cent for four years in order to help fund public schools.
Importantly, the current state budget relies upon passage of Prop 30. If Prop 30 is not approved, the state budget mandates about $6 billion in automatic trigger cuts to state education.

The Governor said this week, “The cuts are in the budget, the law of California. They cannot be changed unless the Legislature wants to change it and the governor signs the bill, and I won’t sign the bill. You can take that to the bank.”

Click HERE for further details on the Mercury News website.

Ballot Recommendations

Yes on Prop 32
Prevents Payroll Deductions for Political Purposes

Prop 32 would ban corporations and public and private sector unions from using payroll-deducted funds for political purposes and prohibit unions and corporations from directly contributing to political candidates. Voluntary contributions are allowed under Prop 32 for political purposes through mechanisms such as a political action committee.

Ag Council supports Prop 32 because there is a compelling need to improve California’s political process, and Prop 32 is a step in the right direction.

To read more about why Ag Council supports Proposition 32, click HERE, and scroll down to “Yes on Prop 32.”

No on Prop 37
Genetically Engineered Food Labeling

Prop 37 mandates labeling of raw or processed food as genetically engineered if the food is for sale to consumers and produced from plants or animals with genetic material changed in certain ways.

Ag Council opposes Prop 37 because it creates a private right of action against family farmers and food processors, increases the cost of food, and prohibits marketing as “natural” any products that are processed in any way, even if a crop is not genetically modified. Prop 37 exempts alcohol, food sold for immediate consumption, meat, dairy products, certified organic food and other products.

Click HERE and scroll down to “No on Prop 37” to read further details about the impact of Prop 37 on Ag Council members.

Winter Water Outlook

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently released its 2012 winter outlook for this December-February saying a “wavering El Nino” in the U.S. makes this winter less predictable.

During El Niño, warmer ocean water in the equatorial Pacific alters the patterns of tropical rainfall, which then influences the strength and position of the jetstream and storms over the Pacific Ocean and U.S.

NOAA’s winter outlook forecasts drier-than-average conditions in Northern California, the Pacific Northwest, as well as Idaho, western Montana, and portions of Wyoming, Utah and most of Nevada.

Read more in NOAA’s news release by clicking HERE.

 

Specialty Crop Block Grants

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is accepting proposals for the 2013 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. The program funds projects enhancing the competitiveness of specialty crops, which are defined as fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops.

For specific instructions on how to apply, click HERE. The deadline to register and submit a concept proposal is December 7, 2012. Full proposals are due March 22, 2013. For a schedule of CDFA Specialty Crop Block Grant workshops being held throughout the state beginning on November 5, click HERE.

If you are seeking professional grant writing assistance, Ag Council’s Allied Member, Morrison & Company, provides grant writing services and has an over 83 percent success rate on full grant proposals since 2002. Please contact Brent Morrison at as soon as possible if you are interested. He can be reached at ph. (530) 893-4764 ext. 202 or bmorrison@morrisonco.net.

2013 Ag Council Annual Meeting

Please save March 18-20 2013 on your calendar for Ag Council’s Annual Meeting at Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa.  We hope you will join us.

Registration information and further details will be available beginning in December at: www.agcouncil.org.  Ag Council will also provide future annual meeting updates via this newsletter.