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California's Overdue Budget

President's Message

Thursday, August 26th 2010

CFFA President,

Welcome to the California Fresh Fruit Association’s website. We hope you find the information here valuable and we encourage you to contact us with any suggestions or questions.

The California Legislature returned from its July summer recess to once again to confront the reality that state is overdue on a budget. In fact as I write this message we are 57 days overdue and counting. Governor Schwarzenegger has estimated that for each day we go without a budget it costs Californians an addition $52.3 million. That’s each day. So to date that means we have squandered another almost $3 billion for a state that already has a $20 billion plus deficit. Not good financial management any way you slice it. Is there any wonder that the Legislature’s approval rating is something close to 16 %?

And yet the desire and focus to solve the budget crisis seems to be lacking more than ever from our elected officials in Sacramento. Many individuals are now speculating that the budget issue will not be resolved until after the Governor leaves office. This is a frightening prospect indeed.

In the meantime, bills continue to be churned out of the Assembly and Senate without regard to our current precarious financial position. Ideologues remain in firm control and push forth their special agendas seemingly oblivious to the outside world.

One such piece of legislation is SB 1474 whose primary author is Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and whose sponsor is the United Farm Workers. This is the union’s fourth attempt to get the Governor to approve some form of “card check” and this version is even more devious than any of the previous. This bill would change the Agricultural Labor Relations Act (ALRA) to revert to card check on the finding of “employer misconduct” in an election. Never mind the fact that the bill doesn’t define employer misconduct or that the union has consistently refused to debate why the current provisions of the ALRA, specifically the unfair labor practice provisions, are somehow inadequate. This is a truly backdoor version of “card check” that would disenfranchise farmworkers votes.

The good news is that the agricultural coalition that the League has assisted in leading and that has opposed card check for the last four years is once again intact and communicating with the Governor and his office. We remain hopeful that the Governor continues to understand that these attempts to alter the basic function of the secret ballot within the ALRA are counterproductive to the rights and wishes of farmworkers and as such will veto this ill-conceived legislation.

Thank you for visiting our site and we sincerely hope that you will visit again soon.