California owes its emergence as one of the world’s major economic powers in part to the abundance of its natural resources. The future of the state’s economy depends upon a balanced and sensible approach to dealing with current and future water needs, the state’ resources and endangered species, while promoting the productivity and competitiveness of California’s agricultural and allied industries.
Provide agricultural employers with a conduit for communicating with lawmakers and advocating environmentally sound development and use of agricultural and natural resources in a manner that provides optimum economic benefits while protecting property rights.
Supported veto of bill to limit an employer’s due process rights to seek an appeal of an Agricultural Labor Relations Board order and require the employer to post a bond for the entire economic cost of the order (AB 561 of 2015).
Stopped misguided 2015 proposal to require labeling of agricultural products irrigated with cleaned wastewater from oil fields (ABX2 14).
Stopped California-only new labeling requirements and increased litigation in 2014: “job killer” status removed when private right of action amended out of bill; new labeling, packaging, distribution and recordkeeping requirements failed to pass (SB 1381).
Secured amendments to legislation before it was signed into law in 2012 to remove a provision creating a private right of action allowing citizens to sue as “trustees for fish and wildlife” for violations of the Fish and Game Code (SB 1148).
Provided farmers and ranchers an additional tool to help prevent vertebrate pests from destroying valuable California agricultural products by allowing the use of carbon monoxide for vertebrate pest control purposes (SB 634; 2011).
Prevented increased agricultural costs. Stopped attempt to limit employees’ ability to independently and privately vote for unionization in the workplace, by essentially eliminating a secret ballot election and replacing it with the submission of representation cards signed by over 50% of the employees, which leaves employees susceptible to coercion and manipulation by labor organizations (SB 104; 2011).
Agricultural Enterprises Under Fire
Position: The California Chamber of Commerce supports a balanced approach between environmental protection and social economic progress. Environmental regulations should be based on sound science and peer reviewed. The challenges that agriculture faces are different in many regards than other types of businesses. There should be acknowledgment that farmers provide a very basic necessity for survival—food. The state’s farmers produce crops under strict regulations for health and safety, and environmental concerns, all of which increase the cost of doing business in California. The state’s farmers and ranchers compete in the marketplace with other states and countries that are not subject to the same safeguards or expenses, but are allowed to sell into the California market.
Related Issue Article:
2017 Business Issues and Legislative Guide
Agriculture and Resources
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
Expanding Opportunity — An Agenda for All Californians
Health Care Reform
Housing and Land Use
Labor and Employment
Agriculture and Resources Bills
Agriculture, Water, Resources, Telecommunications, Crime,
Banking and Finance