At its annual meeting on Monday, the California Farm Bureau unveiled a new logo and new insights on state policy.
CFBF President Jamie Johansson said the state budget has more than doubled since 2009—a growth of $100 billion that boils down to a spending increase of more than $1 million an hour. He cited the rejection of Prop. 15 and the Republican turnover of some House seats in the state as evidence of voters beginning to push back on government spending, while grassroots efforts by farmers are playing a stronger role.
CFBF Administrator Jim Houston said voters are moving past the “Trump factor” and know that “there’s no longer somebody to blame back in D.C.” for issues like rising unemployment and closed schools. He said the negative press toward the Legislature and Gov. Newsom on these issues may serve as a check on their authority.
Interested in more coverage and insights? Receive a free month of Agri-Pulse West.
“They were just drunk with power,” he said. “There was no threat to [any of their decisions].”
Houston said these bold shifts have unanticipated consequences. He hoped this would “put a pause” on the Democratic control of the Assembly that has endured for most of the last 60 years. He expected to see more moderate Democrats “pop up” ahead of the next election.
The Farm Bureau’s Mike Zimmerman warned members to “be afraid” if President-Elect Joe Biden selects Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols to head EPA, as has been rumored.
“That would be one of the toughest appointments for us to work with moving forward,” he said.