SACRAMENTO (August 30, 2012) - Assemblyman Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) released the following statement regarding Assembly Bill 2676 (Calderon), which passed off the Assembly Floor. This bill would impose upon farmers new regulations, punishable by imprisonment in county jail for up to six months and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
"Though a vast array of state and federal laws and regulations ensure California farm workers the best protections in the country, some legislators are intentionally criminalizing California farmers," said Nielsen. "The irony is that these same legislators are voting to go easy via AB 109 on tens of thousands of career felons. The punitive provisions of this legislation subject hard working farmers to more serious penalties than violent criminals."
This bill would require "any person who directs an agricultural employee to perform, or supervises an agricultural employee in the performance of, outdoor work without providing the employee with both continuous, ready access to an area of shade sufficient to allow the body to cool, and potable water per hour throughout the employee's work shift is guilty of a misdemeanor."
"It is outrageous that such legislation even made it this far into the process," said Nielsen. "I hope that the governor would choose to veto this job-killing bill which could bring about immense burdens on our already-strained farmers."