December 12, 2018


At a time of declining commodity prices, trade disputes and regulatory uncertainty, the California Farm Bureau Federation endorsed the federal farm bill adopted today by the U.S. Senate, and urged quick passage by the House of Representatives.

“With its provisions for nutrition programs as well as farm programs, the farm bill is important in the city as well as on the farm,” CFBF President Jamie Johansson said. “We thank Senators Feinstein and Harris for voting for it, and will urge California congressional members to follow suit.”

Johansson said the bill makes a number of improvements to conservation programs, including the popular Environmental Quality Incentives Program. It continues specific programs for fruit, vegetable, nut and nursery producers, as well as initiatives to benefit organic farming. The bill will also enhance trade programs to encourage exports of American farm goods.

“Farm exports support jobs in rural California, of course, but also in marketing and transportation companies located in our big cities,” Johansson said. “Programs that help California food and farm products reach more customers will boost jobs at ports and warehouses as well as at farms and packinghouses.”

He said Farm Bureau also welcomes farm bill programs to protect animal agriculture from catastrophic diseases, to allow dairy farmers to enroll in risk-management programs and to increase crop-insurance flexibility.

“The farm bill also invests in agricultural research, including studies of ways to mechanize more on-farm tasks,” Johansson said. “Farmers and ranchers face chronic problems in hiring enough qualified people, so this sort of technological research will be closely watched.”

But Johansson said CFBF was disappointed the final bill did not do more to improve wildfire prevention and forest management.

“Given the terrible impact of wildfires in California and elsewhere in the West, we need to manage our forests and wildlands better, and we will be advocating for that in the next Congress,” he said.

The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of nearly 36,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of nearly 5.6 million Farm Bureau members.

February 2, 2018

New Bills

For the next two weeks, Legislators will be busy introducing new legislation for 2018. February 16th is the Legislative Bill Introduction Deadline. After this date, individual members may not introduce new bills, unless they have an urgency clause (which requires a 2/3 vote). The following bills of interest were introduced today.


Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) introduced a bill, AB 2008, that would ensure that Farmers and Ranchers are not taxed on money they receive through the Carl Moyer engine replacement program. The bill contains an urgency clause which triggers a 2/3rds vote. For more information contact Taylor Roschen at

Cap and Trade Funds

Susan Eggman (D- Stockton) introduced AB 2006, that would direct an unspecified amount of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction fund (the money generated though the cap and trade program) to deploy zero emission or near zero emission vehicles for Agricultural Vanpools that serve disadvantaged and low-income communities. The money could be used to fund purchases, lease-purchases, replacement, or maintenance of near-zero and zero-emission vehicles in addition to purchase and installation of electric vehicle charging stations and near-zero or zero-emission vehicle infrastructure. For more information, contact Noelle Cremers at

Existing Bills

Wednesday, January 31st was a significant legislative deadline requiring all bills introduced in 2017 to have passed their house of origin (i.e. Assembly bills must have passed the Assembly) or else they are dead. Sometimes, however, dead bills are revived through a process in which they “gut” an existing bill (one that has made it out of its house of origin) and “amend” it by putting the language from the dead bill in – hence the term, “gut and amend”.


As regular readers know, the California Farm Bureau Federation has been opposed to Assemblymember Bill Quirk’s (D – Hayward) bill, AB 1419, that proposed to expand the authority for the Director of the Department of Pesticide Regulation to pursue enforcement cases and granting them increased fine authority from $5,000 to $25,000, per violation. While we were successful in appropriately narrowing
the circumstances in which the DPR director could pursue a violation, we had not persuaded the author to reduce the fine amount. This issue remained unresolved when Assemblymember Quirk brought up his bill on the Assembly Floor. CFBF maintained an “oppose unless amended” position on the bill. The author was unable to get 41 votes on the floor and the bill failed passage on a 35-26 vote and did not ask for reconsideration (which would have allowed for another vote to take place) so the bill is now dead. For more information, please contact Jim Houston at
Senator Steve Glazer (D- Contra Costa) had two measures signed into law this week. SB 558 and SCA 9 which have now become Proposition 72 (see below). This proposition, if approved by the voters in the June 5th primary election, would exclude the valuation of newly constructed rain water capture systems from property tax appraisal. If approved, this exclusion will only apply until a property changes ownership, in alignment with Proposition 13.

Proposition Assignments

Below is a list of assigned proposition numbers for items that passed the Legislature as of January 31st, 2018. All propositions listed will be placed on the June 5th primary ballot:
• Proposition 68—SB 5 (DeLeon- California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2018) – the Water Bond passed last year by the legislature.
• Proposition 69—ACA 5 (Frazier-Motor vehicle fee and taxes: restrictions on expenditures: appropriation limit) – requires the gas taxes to be spent on transportation.
• Proposition 70—ACA 1 (Mayes-Greenhouse Gas Reserve Fund) – basically requires the legislature to reaffirm, by a 2/3 vote, the plan to spend GGRF money.
• Proposition 71 – ACA 17 (Mullin – Effective Date of Propositions) – would delay implementation of proposition from the day after the election to 5 days after the Secretary of State files the statement of the vote.
• Proposition 72—SB 558/SCA 9 (Glazer- Property taxation: new construction exclusion: rain water capture system) – see above.