News Release
California Department of Food and Agriculture
Media Contacts:
Steve Lyle, Office of Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462, slyle@cdfa.ca.gov
FARMWORKERS TO BENEFIT FROM BILLS SIGNED BY GOVERNOR SCHWARZENEGGER
CDFA
Release #06-057
Secretary Kawamura joins State Senator Ducheny in Oceanside to announce signings
OCEANSIDE, September 28, 2006—California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary A.G. Kawamura today joined State Senator Denise Ducheny (D-San Diego) to announce that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed bills that will benefit farm workers.  The bill signing announcement took place at Oceanside Produce in Oceanside, California.

“These bills work together to improve conditions for those who work so hard on our farms, from safe vanpool transportation to housing and training” said Secretary Kawamura. “The bills will ultimately increase the competitiveness of California’s agricultural industry and make the state’s economy more viable.”

Below is the list of bills signed by Governor Schwarzenegger:

SB 1135 by Committee on Budget and Fiscal review establishes protocols to expend $20 million made available in the 2006-07 Budget Act for an agricultural worker transportation grant program.

SB 1690 by Senator Gloria Romero (D-Los Angeles) authorizes the Employment Training Panel, on a limited basis, to fund the training of workers in seasonal industries.   

SB 1802 by Senator Ducheny increases the number of beds in group quarters from 12 to 36 that are allowable as employee housing on agricultural land.

"Not only will this bill (SB 1690) provide job-related vocational skills training to workers in seasonal industries such as agriculture,” said California Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Victoria Bradshaw. “It will also help increase worker productivity and wages."

Others attending today’s bill signing announcement included Assemblyman Pedro Nava (D-Santa Barbara),  Western Growers Association Executive Vice-President and General Counsel Jasper Hempel, Luawanna Hallstrom, CEO of Harry Singh and Sons /Oceanside Produce, and representatives from the California Department of Housing and Community Development.  

"This legislative package, and specifically SB 1802, will increase affordable housing for farm workers near their jobs,” said Department of Housing and Community Development Director Lynn L. Jacobs. “Having housing that is affordable also helps farmers secure the adequate workforce needed to put food on our tables.”

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California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814
916-654-0462, www.cdfa.ca.gov