This guest post was written by Jessica González, Policy Advocate at CCOF and Food and Farm Resilience Coalition member.
In late April, CCOF and Food and Farm Resilience Coalition members met with state legislators to garner additional support for the Climate-resilient Farms, Sustainable Healthy Food Access, and Farmworker Protection Bond Act of 2024, AB 408. This bill, which is authored by Assemblymember Lori Wilson, would place a $3.4 billion bond measure on the November 2024 ballot to invest in the climate resilience of California’s food and farming system.
AB 408 comes on the heels of proposed budget cuts that threaten to gut essential climate-smart food and farming programs in 2024, including a $15 million drop in funding to support farmers adopting healthy soils practices and zeroing out funding for a new program that provides tools to farmers to transition to organic management. These proposed cuts put California’s climate goals at risk, including a goal to transition 20% of farmland to organic by 2045.
AB 408 combats these proposed shortfalls by establishing a steady stream of funding for climate-smart programs over 5 years as well as investment in affordable housing for farmworker families and energy-efficiency improvements for food processing plants. This bill also innovates new programs that center land tenure, support implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), and renewable energy.
CCOF is one of the 18 organizations co-sponsoring AB 408, and we are joined by over 85 agriculture, labor, health, environmental justice, and food access groups in support. The bill passed out of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on April 10th and is now referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Stay tuned as we advance AB 408 to ensure stable funding for California’s food and farming system.