Jerry Brown

California governor signs food waste bill

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill to encourage manufacturers to voluntarily standardize date labeling on their products in order to curb some of the 5.5 billion tons of food tossed into the state’s landfills each year.

California’s wastewater irrigation could spread toxins, says report

Oil wastewater used to irrigate food crops in California’s Central Valley was found to contain carcinogens and other toxins in a preliminary report by scientists from the University of California, Berkeley, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the University of the Pacific, and the nonprofit PSE Healthy Energy.

California’s overtime law may bring payday for robotics

When California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the law that assures farmworkers of overtime pay for more than eight hours a day in the field, it was "good news for one group: Agriculture robotics startups," says AgFunderNews.

CA governor signs law to help small-scale seed exchanges

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed an amendment to the California Seed Law, exempting “non-commercial seed sharing activities from industrial labeling, testing, and permitting requirements,” says Shareable.

California lawmakers vote for overtime pay for farmworkers

It's up to Gov Jerry Brown to decide if California farmworkers will be paid overtime for working more than eight hours in a day. Only weeks after defeating an overtime bill, the state Assembly passed, 44-32, a bill calling for a four-year phase-in of overtime rules beginning in 2019 and resulting in overtime pay beginning in 2022, says the Los Angeles Times.

California shifts to local water use targets to fight drought

In a major shift in policy, California's cities, water districts and private companies will set their own water conservation targets instead of being handed assignments by the state, Gov. Jerry Brown announced as drought conditions eased across the state. The new approach, expected to see approval by the State Water Resources Board of May 18, also would require more irrigation districts to quantify water-use efficiency by growers and spell out how they will handle shortages in the future.

Despite drought, California farmers ring up record sales

California farmers made $53.5 billion in sales in 2014, even as Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency and mandated urban water cuts for 2015. The record sales figures, which represent the most recent data available, were released in a new report by the state agriculture department.

CA bill would move billions from bullet train to water projects

California's $53-billion agriculture industry is rallying behind a bill for the November ballot that would move money intended for the state’s high-speed bullet train to new water projects.

California is first state to regulate antibiotics in livestock

Overuse of antibiotics in livestock is "an urgent public health problem," Gov Jerry Brown said in signing a law that makes California the first state to regulate antimicrobials administered to food animals. The new law is stricter than FDA's ongoing phase-out of medically important antibiotics to promote weight gain by cattle, hogs and poultry but won’t come into play as soon. "The science is clear that the overuse of antibiotics in livestock has contributed to the spread of antibiotic resistance and the undermining of decades of life-saving advances in medicine," Brown said. "SB 27 addresses an urgent public health problem."

It’s the law: California olive oil is from California

Gov Jerry Brown signed a law to ensure that olive oil from California is labeled properly, said the Vacaville Reporter. If the label says California, all of the oil must come from olives grown in the state, says state Sen Lois Wolk, who sponsored the legislation.

California leaders propose $1 billion in drought relief

Gov. Jerry Brown and California legislative leaders proposed a $1 billion drought-relief package as the state enters its fourth year of drought. The pair of bills includes $128 million to alleviate the impact of drought...

The urban-vs-rural water war in California

The order by Gov. Jerry Brown for a 25-percent reduction in urban water use "reopened a generations-old, urban-versus-rural debate about who should control California’s water and how it can best be used," says the San Diego Union-Tribune. Critics say agriculture got a free pass from Brown because of political clout. The farm bloc says it already endures cutbacks. This is the second year of "zero allocation" of federal irrigation water to farmers and the state has cut its allocation to farms to 20 percent of normal, says the Union-Tribune.

New law bans GE salmon in California waters

Gov Jerry Brown signed a law that bans commercial production of genetically engineered salmon in California waters, says the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. The state already barred spawning, incubation, or cultivation of transgenic salmon in the Pacific Ocean.

Brown vetoes antibiotics bill, says “more needs to be done”

California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a proposed first-in-the-nation state law to reduce antibiotic use in livestock and told legislators, "More needs to be done to understand and reduce our reliance on antibiotics." In his veto message, he said state agricultural officials would work with lawmakers to find "new and effective ways to reduce the unnecessary antibiotics used for livestock and poultry."

California heads for regulation of groundwater

"California could soon become the last state in the West to regulate water pulled from beneath the earth," says the Sacramento Bee. The Legislature passed a three-bill package on Friday that Gov Jerry Brown is expected to sign. It would require local water managers in certain parts of the state to draft plans within a few years to prevent extraction of too much water from the ground. The state could step in if the local plans are insufficient or not enforced.

California eyes slow shift to control of groundwater usage

Since the days of the Gold Rush, "groundwater has been considered a property right; landowners are entitled to what's beneath them," says the Los Angeles Times; California is the only state in the West that does not regulate groundwater.

Voluntary conservation fall short in California drought

Gov Jerry Brown asked Californians to cut water consumption by 20 percent in the face of widespread drought. Five months later, the San Francisco Chronicle says voluntary conservation has yielded small results in the Bay area.