House Passes Farm Labor Bill; Industry Shifts Focus to Senate

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The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Farm Workforce Modernization Act Dec. 11. The legislation was crafted over a period of months with a core group of bipartisan supporters, and garnered 34 Republican votes. It still faced Republican opposition: of the 165 votes against it, 161 were cast by Republicans. The final vote was 260-165; three Democrats dissenting.

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Bipartisan House Members Introduce Farm Workforce Modernization Act

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – On October 30th, Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19), Dan Newhouse (R-WA-04), Collin Peterson (D-MN-07), Mike Simpson (R-ID-02), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA-01), and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL-25) introduced the Farm Workforce Modernization Act to provide a compromise solution for American agriculture. The bill was introduced with the strong bipartisan support of 24 Democrats and 20 Republicans.

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H-2A Advertising Rule

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Congress is back in session following their August recess, and negotiations are ongoing on agricultural immigration reform legislation to address the current workforce and to reform the “future flow” visa program. At the same time, the Department of Labor is in the process of making significant changes to the existing H-2A temporary agricultural worker visa program.

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Demise of Key Environment Bill Could Escalate California’s Water Wars

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Gov. Newsom said he won’t approve Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins’ bid for a legal backstop against environmental rollbacks by the Trump administration.

The smoke has (partly) cleared from the legislative battlefield, in the aftermath of a struggle pitting the leader of the California Senate against not only powerful water and agricultural interests but also Gov. Gavin Newsom. And California’s two largest water-delivery systems may soon be operating under rules that differ ever more significantly.

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California Mandating Individual Coverage - SB 78

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Despite the fact that 93% of Californians have health insurance, as part of its 2019 budget, the California legislature passed and Governor Newsom signed into law - The Minimum Essential Coverage Individual Mandate”. This mandate is modelled after the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The new mandate, effective January 1, 2020, requires California residents (who are not already covered by individual or group health coverage) to enroll in qualified insurance coverage for each month of the year, with exemptions for individuals on the basis of financial hardship or religious beliefs as determined by the state’s healthcare exchange, Covered California.

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