in the KNOW

September 21, 2012

Support for Gov’s Tax Plan Slips

Support for Governor Jerry Brown’s ballot initiative to raise taxes has fallen three percentage points since July to 51 percent among likely voters, according to a Field Poll survey released this week. The survey also revealed that 36 percent of likely voters oppose the initiative, and the number of undecided voters has grown to 13 percent.

The initiative on the November 6 ballot, Proposition 30, would raise state sales taxes by ¼ cent for four years and increase personal state income taxes on annual earnings over $250,000 for seven years in order to fund public education.

If Proposition 30 fails, the 2012-13 state budget requires that trigger cuts go into effect reducing K-12 public education and community college funding by $5.4 billion. In addition, $500 million would be cut from public universities.

Click HERE for further results in The Field Poll survey.

Take Action on Heat Illness Bills

As many Ag Council members are aware, both heat illness bills (AB 2346 and AB 2676) were approved in the Legislature and are awaiting consideration by Governor Jerry Brown. The Governor has until September 30, 2012 to sign or veto pending legislation, and he can take action any time between now and September 30.

Ag Council and many other ag and business organizations are seeking a veto of AB 2346 and AB 2676 and have communicated that message to the Governor. For further details, please read the joint coalition letters to the Governor by clicking HERE.

We urge you to send a veto request letter regarding AB 2346 and AB 2676 to the Governor. You can email a brief note to the Governor TODAY via his website by clicking HERE. In your veto request, let the Governor know both bills are unnecessary given that the state already has a well-structured regulation in place to protect farmworkers from heat illness, and the regulation is protecting lives and is supported by the ag community.

CA Launches Online Voter Registration

California Secretary of State, Debra Bowen, announced this week that Californians can now register to vote online through October 22. Online registration is a result of SB 397, authored by Senator Leland Yee (D-SF), which became law earlier this year.

California is the twelfth state to allow online voter registration. Over 6 million people in California are qualified to vote, but have not yet registered. About 72 percent of those eligible are registered to vote in the state.

Click HERE to read more.

Climate Change Auction

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) is scheduled to move forward with a cap and trade auction on November 14, 2012. This will be the first official quarterly auction for the state cap and trade program.

Auction participants must apply in order to participate in the auction process. Click HERE for eligibility, participant training information and further details.

As background, the state climate change law (AB 32) requires that greenhouse gas emissions be reduced to 1990 levels by the year 2020. Entities emitting over 25,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions a year, including some Ag Council members, must abide by the cap and trade regulation developed by the ARB.

Under Ag Council’s analysis of the regulation, some of our members will be required to purchase allowances during the quarterly cap and trade auctions, and the cost of allowances could potentially be in the millions of dollars per year for regulated entities.

Given the importance of this issue to our members, Ag Council continues to be actively involved in the regulatory process as it moves forward. Click HERE to read about recent action taken on behalf of our members.