Livestock Theft Bill Advances in Assembly
CCA sponsored legislation, AB 924 by Assemblymember Frank Bigelow (R-O’Neals), passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee this week with bipartisan support. The bill now heads to the Assembly floor for a full vote before advancing to the California State Senate. In order for the bill to move forward, CCA was forced to remove provisions of AB 924 that would have mandated some jail time for repeat offenders due to ongoing lawsuits between the state and federal government regarding prison overcrowding. In order to continue to raise awareness of the impacts cattle theft has had on California’s ranchers and rural communities, the bill was amended to focus on providing additional resources to the authorities responsible for investigating cases of livestock theft.
Specifically, the bill will direct any fines associated with a conviction for livestock theft directly to the Bureau of Livestock Identification which in addition to conducting brand inspections, works with law enforcement to identify suspects. Under current law, any fines associated with a conviction are sent straight to the state’s general fund and lost to the state’s coffers.
In addition, CCA is working with the author to determine what other options might be added to the bill to better deter theft. CCA appreciates Assemblymember Bigelow’s leadership on this issue and we look forward to strengthening the bill as it moves through the legislation process.
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Senate Committee Set to Hear Important CCA Transportation Bill
The Senate Transportation and Housing Committee is set to hear SB 478 by Sen. Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) on Tuesday, May 7 at 1:30 p.m. at the Capitol in Sacramento. This CCA-sponsored bill will make it legal for 53-foot livestock semitrailers most commonly used in the livestock industry to travel on California’s interstates and major highways to access auction yards, feedlots and other livestock facilities near major transportation corridors that commonly engage in the trading of livestock interstate. Currently, these trailers are prohibited from operating in California because the rear axles cannot be aligned to achieve a 40-foot distance from the king-pin to the rear axle. Only 48-foot livestock semitrailers are allowed to operate on California’s interstates and major highways.
SB 478 is important to ensure livestock haulers and buyers throughout the West can access calves and feeder cattle raised and sold by California ranchers. As an industry, we face a multitude of issues related to transportation including the need to purchase custom trailers to operate legally on California legal routes and county roads. While SB 478 is not a silver bullet, it is a critical step in the right direction to ensure ranchers in California remain competitive.
Please demonstrate your support for this bill by calling the committee chairman Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) at (916) 651-4007 and request he and other committee members cast an “aye” vote on SB 478.
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Bill to Increase Coastal Commission Power Moves to Assembly Floor
Despite the work of CCA and a large coalition of agriculture and business groups, AB 203, authored by Assemblymember Stone (D-Scotts Valley), moved out of Assembly Appropriations on Wednesday and will be eligible to be voted on the floor this coming Thursday.
CCA is strongly opposed to AB 203, as it would allow the Coastal Commission to halt the processing of a permit if the Commission alleges an existing violation on the property. CCA believes that the Coastal Commission has existing authority and ability to ensure that violations are resolved before a new permit is issued, and we do not believe that halting the process is the proper role of a public agency.
We ask that all members who live in coastal counties contact their representative and urge a “no” vote on this over-reaching and unnecessary piece of legislation.
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Coastal Commission Agricultural Workshop Coming May 8
For over a year, members of the agricultural community have been lobbying the Coastal Commission to hold an agriculture workshop. Policies developed by the Coastal Commission often have harshly negative impacts on agriculture on the coast, demanding permits for brush clearing, fence repair, road maintenance and a host of other common agricultural activities that the Commission has deemed “development.”
In order to address the concerns of the agricultural community, the Coastal Commission has agreed to host a workshop on May 8, in San Rafael.
California Farm Bureau Federation and the California Cattleman's Association have been collaborating to organize a meeting of representatives of coastal farmers and ranchers, along with those of the California Coastal Commission to discuss needed improvement of the Local Coast Program (LCP) update process. Several counties have been going through their updates and have found it difficult to get their LCP's certified by the Coastal Commission.
The CCC's workshop on May 8 is intended to be an opportunity to work through these difficulties. There has been an expressed interest from many of our Coastal Cattlemen’s Associations and coastal Ccounty farm bureaus to coordinate issues, thoughts and goals in preparation for the California Coastal Commission's (CCC) Agricultural Workshop.
A planning meeting will be held on May 7, in Marin County, the day prior to the workshop. We encourage a representative from your county association to participate. Please be prepared to bring issues confronting your coastal landowners to the conversation. Details about time and location will be forthcoming.
A block of rooms is being held by the Embassy Suites in San Rafael for the nights of the May 7 and 8. Rooms are $125 each, and can be reserved at a group rate by clicking here.
If you are able to attend or have someone from your county who can attend, please RSVP to Andy Mills at Saveourranches@aol.com (805)245-4229. Or call Margo Parks in the CCA office. Participation is critical!
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Assembly Agriculture Committee Waters Down Controversial Milk Pricing Bill
Following weeks of debate and lobbying by dairy producers and processors, the Assembly Committee on Agriculture voted Wednesday to advance a heavily amended version of AB 31 by Assemblymember Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) that seeks to shift payments for whey protein to dairy producers that is largely being funneled to processors under California’s milk pricing scheme. The bill now lacks an actual proposal to change the price formula, but because it has advanced AB 31 will provide the opportunity for dairy producers who are in support of the price change and cheese processors who are largely opposed to the bill to find a collaborative solution moving forward.
AB 31 is likely to remain controversial as it is further debated in the Assembly over the coming month and any deal between the two sides will need to be struck by the end of May.
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Hear What's New at CCA!
Did you miss this week's Tele-townhall meeting? You can now download the file to hear the latest from your CCA staff and officer team from the comfort of your home.
To download the file, visit www.calcattlemen.org.
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Cattle-Fax Weekly Market Highlight
May 3, 2013
The fed cattle market ranged from steady to $1 higher this week. In the North, live sales occurred at $129 to $131, while the dressed trade was established primarily at $204 to $207, with tops of $208. Boxed beef was sharply higher this week as pent up demand coming into warmer weather lifted prices. Choice moved quicker than Selects, widening out that spread. Feeder cattle prices were steady to $3 higher for the week while calves were even to as much as $5 higher. Slaughter cows were mostly steady to $2 higher this week. Demand was good for all classes of replacement cattle, lighter weight cattle continue to be supported by turn-out activity in the plains. Corn was higher this week as planting falls behind schedule due to cold, wet weather in much of the Corn Belt.