Gov. Brown Vetoes Ag-Targeted Bills

DanCattle, Citrus, Corn, Cotton, Dairy & Livestock, Field & Row Crops, Forage Crops, General, Poultry, Specialty Crops, Tree, nut & vine crops

According to Dave Puglia, Western Growers Association, Sr. Vice President, Government Affairs and Communication; Western Growers applauds California Governor Jerry Brown for his responsible action in the veto of AB 2346 and AB 2676. The legislation would have exposed farmers to abusive private lawsuits and extended liability as well as criminal sanctions even when no harm occurred. These bills were part of a political agenda, not a policy objective.
The first, AB 2346 (Butler, D – Torrance) – the Heat Illness Bill – would have exposed farmers and farm labor contractors to private lawsuits and joint liability for alleged violations of the heat illness regulation, and created a blacklist of “repeat offenders” for minor violations dating back many years.
The second bill, AB 2676 (Calderon, D-Montebello) – would have allowed a district attorney to file misdemeanor charges against an ag employer who directs an ag employee to perform, or supervises an ag employee in the performance of, outdoor work without providing the employee with shade and potable water as required by the bill. This was inconsistent with the water and shade requirements of the existing state regulation. The punishment would have been imprisonment for up to six months and/or a fine up to $10,000. If that violation had resulted in injury, the punishment would have been up to a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $25,000.
We applaud Gov. Brown in his leadership and standing up to the politicians who directly target agriculture.