Farm Bill Listening Tour Adds Stop In Rochester

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ALBANY — Here’s an opportunity to hear about the 2018 Farm Bill.

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball announced Friday that there are additional listening sessions for the 2018 Farm Bill Listening Tour. The Tour provides state officials an opportunity to engage and hear from residents across New York regarding the 2018 Farm Bill. Hearing from constituents helps officials draft pertinent legislation.

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Goodlatte Unveils Bill To Provide Workable Guestworker Program

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The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee recently unveiled a bill to create a new, workable agricultural guestworker program for America’s farmers and ranchers.

The Agricultural Guestworker Act, or the AG Act, introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte R-VA, replaces the H-2A guestworker program with a program Goodlatte said is “reliable, efficient and fair.”

“The H-2A program is widely known to be expensive, time-consuming and flawed. Each year, employers using the H-2A program have to comply with a lengthy labor certification process that is slow and plagued with red tape.

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Our Views: Look for Energy Benefits in New NAFTA

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In today’s raucous political environment, perhaps the best outcome for the American economy is no progress in trade talks.

That has already led to intense mutual exasperation among trade negotiators working on updating NAFTA, the treaty that ought to be called the North American Co-Prosperity Sphere, because that is what it has delivered since 1994.

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California Wildfires Leaves Seasonal Agricultural Workers In Limbo

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For more than a week, Marisol Paniagua has been living at an evacuation center. She had been scheduled to pick grapes at a vineyard near the city of Santa Rosa, Calif. But that work was canceled because of the wildfires ravaging Northern California.

"It's very difficult right now because we just have a little bit of gas left in our car. That's how we are still able to drive around," said Paniagua, 37. "But the fact is, we have nothing."

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Buy Clean California Act: Carbon Emission Limits for State Procurement

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California has taken a significant step in aligning its procurement expenditures with its vanguard climate change policy. On October 15, 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed A.B. 262, the Buy Clean California Act (Chapter 816, Statutes of 2017). Beginning in 2019, the state’s Department of General Services (DGS) is to establish maximum carbon emission levels for “eligible building materials,” consisting of carbon steel rebar, flat glass, mineral wool board insulation and structural steel. At that time, state agencies may only award contracts to bidders certifying that their sources of these materials meet the standard.

This legislation was supported by manufacturers that have invested heavily in emission reduction processes, along with labor unions and environmental organizations. The Brazilian firm Gerdau Steel, having made expensive upgrades to the only California steel mill and its other facilities, greeted the signing by saying the act will “level the playing field” against sources that have greater emissions from manufacturing and transportation.

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