A state Senate committee has advanced a proposal for establishing a drought assistance program for farmworkers.
Sen. Melissa Hurtado of Bakersfield revived the measure after a veto last year and has now added floods to the bill. The pilot project would provide supplemental pay to those who have lost work to either of the two disasters. Budget committees would determine exactly how much pay that would be, though she previously proposed $1,000 per month.
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Hurtado said farmworkers are the most impacted by climate change and need support to meet their basic needs. One farmworker she knows works only three days a week and cannot claim unemployment for the rest. She worried about more evictions, food insecurity and poverty.
Republicans were concerned about adding more state costs through another cash assistance program.