field trip to sacramento

April 17th, 2013 by caitlyn

Today was the Agricultural Committee hearing for AB 551, and it was a success! Unanimous votes in favor, no opposition. One of the assembly members, a farmer from Lassen County, said he was glad to support the bill, and hoped it would allow farmers like us to “teach those who live in cities just how hard it is to farm.” Another committee member said she hoped the bill could also engender more support in cities for protecting the Williamson Act which is instrumental in preserving rural farmland.

This is just the very beginning step of the long legislative process ahead for this bill, but it felt momentous. Thank you to all of you who have sent in letters of support so far!

Side note: Originally, the committee was also going to review what’s being called the Ag-Gag Bill (AB 343) today — a bill that requires anyone to report photo/video evidence of animal cruelty in factories within 48 hours of the evidence being gathered. California is one of eight states introducing similar legislation. The bill sounds fine on the surface (Yes to exposing heinous animal abuses, of course!) but considering the sponsors of the bill, and its specific details, it’s very fishy. We were curious to be in the room to hear it discussed, but it was taken off of the agenda at the last minute. You can find an interesting article about about it here.

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