At CalCAN, we believe that significant public investments are needed for incentives, research and technical assistance that safeguard our food supply while scaling up the powerful climate strategies available on California’s farms and ranches. Your donation will support us in the coming year with several exciting initiatives to realize these goals:
2022 Bills CalCAN Supports
AB 2499 (Asm. Maienschein) – This bill would create an Organic Transition Program to provide direct assistance to underserved farmers and ranchers to adopt organic practices and offset the risk during the transition period. The program would also invest in organic-specific technical assistance such as financial and farm planning and mentorship by seasoned organic farmers. The bill also requires a statewide market analysis of the organic sector to provide organic farmers the information they need to identify and build new market opportunities so they can take advantage of the growing consumer demand for organic. This bill is sponsored by CalCAN coalition member CCOF.
AB 2412 (Asm. Villapudua) – This bill would codify the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) into law, expand the types of water conservation projects eligible in the program (e.g. surface water efficiency and groundwater recharge projects), and prioritize financial assistance in the program for small and underserved farmers. The bill borrows some of the language from AB 2482 (Stone), a bill CalCAN sponsored in 2020 that also tried to codify the SWEEP program.
SB 926 (Sen. Dodd) – This bill would make the statutory changes needed to operationalize a Prescribed Fire Liability Pilot Program that was appropriated $20 million in 2021 to support coverage for losses from prescribed fires and cultural burning by nonpublic entities, such as tribes and private landowners. This bill is sponsored by The Nature Conservancy.
AB 2146 (Asm. Bauer-Kahan) – This bill would prohibit the sale, possession or use of neonicotinoid pesticides (“neonics”) for most nonagricultural uses beginning in 2024. Neonics are a leading cause of bee and pollinator declines, which threatens the more than $15 billion in state agricultural production that depends on bees and other pollinators. This bill is sponsored by the Natural Resources Defense Council.
AB 2538 (Asm. R. Rivas) – This bill would require the California State Warning Center to create a plan to alert farmworkers and community residents with text and voice messages in multiple languages when smoke from wildfire poses a public health danger.
AB 2082 (Asm. R. Rivas) – This bill would require CalOSHA to work with community-based organizations to provide farmworkers with work and safety information in their native language. This bill is sponsored by the Centro Binacional para el Desarrollo Indígena Oaxqueño (CBDIO).
SB 880 (Sen. Laird) – This bill would extend a UCCE water measurement and reporting course that educates and certifies water diverters regarding water measurement devices and methods. The certification course has significant operational and cost-savings benefits for ranchers and has increased regulatory compliance, providing state water regulators with better data for purposes of drought response and water resources management. This bill is sponsored by the California Cattlemen’s Association.
2022 Campaign Plans
- We will continue to work in a multi-sector coalition to secure state funding for sustainable and climate-smart farming technologies, energy-efficient and permanent farmworker housing, healthy school food and senior nutrition programs, and much more.
- We will ensure that farmers and ranchers have access to resources to mitigate catastrophic wildfire by using managed grazing and prescribed burning that reduce fire fuel loads.
- We will double down on efforts to make it easier for limited-resource and small farmers to get grants through California’s Healthy Soils Program.
- We will share the lessons learned in California and support campaigns to win healthy soils policies in other states and nationally, and collaborate on mobilizing for the 2023 Farm Bill which will center climate change.
You can check out what happened to the bills CalCAN supported or sponsored in 2021 in our legislative roundup blog.