Legislators introduced a number of new measures this week, several related to agriculture.
Assembly Ag Chair Robert Rivas of Hollister has co-authored a bill on Tuesday that would charge Cal/OSHA with establishing a stockpile of N95 respirators to deploy to farmworkers when wildfire smoke is present.
“Without adequate protections, our farmworkers risk lifelong debilitating illnesses,” Rivas said in a statement.
Strike teams in regional Cal/OSHA offices would distribute the masks to employers.
Three state senators have revived a bond measure that would deliver $5.5 billion to various projects aimed at wildfire prevention, safe drinking water, drought preparation and flood protection.
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If approved by voters in 2022, the measure would allocate $1.5 billion for “safe drinking water and protecting water supply and water quality from climate risks.”
Another $190 million would go toward protecting agricultural lands from climate risks. This includes practices to improve soil health and sequester carbon, recharge groundwater and provide fish and wildlife habitat. Funding would also go to projects improving water efficiency and drought tolerance. The bill carves out $190 million for farmland conservation easements as well.
Legislators introduced a number of other measures on Tuesday, several related to agriculture.
One bill offers incentives for clean trucks and tractors, another would add goals for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through natural and working lands. Another measure aims to develop climate adaptation plans that would consider the effects on agriculture, among many other areas.
At least four bills are related to banning or limiting natural gas connections in new buildings.