Compare Versions

PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

AB-417 Agriculture and Rural Prosperity Act.(2019-2020)



Current Version: 02/07/19 - Introduced        


AB417:v99#DOCUMENT

Revised  March 20, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 417


Introduced by Assembly Member Arambula Robert Rivas

February 07, 2019


An act to add Article 7.5 (commencing with Section 540) to Chapter 3 of Part 1 of Division 1 of the Food and Agricultural Code, relating to agriculture.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 417, as introduced, Arambula Robert Rivas. Agriculture and Rural Prosperity Act.
Existing law requires the Department of Food and Agriculture, headed by the Secretary of Food and Agriculture, to promote and protect the agricultural industry of the state. Existing law requires the department, among other things, to ensure the inclusion of socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers in developing, adopting, implementing, and enforcing food and agriculture laws, regulations, policies, and programs.
This bill would enact the Agriculture and Rural Prosperity Act. The bill would authorize the secretary to carry out various activities to support rural communities and further the development of rural agricultural economies in California, including, among other things, consulting with government agencies and members of the public and private sectors to identify opportunities and partnerships to further the development of rural agricultural economies, and disseminating information on the department’s internet website. The bill would require the secretary to prepare and submit to the Governor and the Legislature a comprehensive study on the economic impacts on the state’s agricultural industry resulting from the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, as provided. The bill would require the secretary to create a position within the department’s executive office to assist the secretary in carrying out the purposes of these provisions. The bill would create within the Department of Food and Agriculture Fund the Rural Economic Development Account, consisting of public and private moneys that are deposited in the account, and would make moneys in the account available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to carry out the purposes of these provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Article 7.5 (commencing with Section 540) is added to Chapter 3 of Part 1 of Division 1 of the Food and Agricultural Code, to read:
Article  7.5. Agriculture and Rural Prosperity Act

540.
 This article shall be known, and may be cited, as the Agriculture and Rural Prosperity Act.

541.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares the following:
(1) The economies of rural California are heavily dependent upon natural resources and working landscapes that benefit the entire state, but rural communities often suffer higher poverty and unemployment rates than their urban and suburban counterparts.
(2) Agriculture is the predominant use of land in, and a major component of the economic viability of, rural California, and significantly contributes to the overall well-being of rural communities, including by increasing employment and business opportunities, improving environmental health, strengthening infrastructure, and enhancing quality of life.
(3) Due to the central role of agriculture in rural California, it is necessary to achieve a detailed understanding of the economic value that agriculture brings to rural communities and to identify opportunities to improve agricultural productivity, including by increasing broadband access, advancing agricultural innovation, technology, and education, and supporting a well-trained, productive rural workforce, to benefit rural communities.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature that the secretary support rural California and have, in the executive office of the department, a position to facilitate that support.

542.
 For purposes of this article, the following terms have the following meanings:
(a) “Agency” includes, but is not limited to, a public office, officer, department, division, bureau, board, or commission.
(b) “Rural” refers to an area that has a population of less than 50,000 and is therefore not an urbanized area, as defined in the 2010 Standards for Delineating Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas published by the United States Office of Management and Budget in Volume 75 of the Federal Register, beginning on page 37246, on June 23, 2010.

543.
 (a) To support rural communities and further the development of rural agricultural economies in California, the secretary, in addition to any other authority, may do the following:
(1) Consult with federal, state, and local agencies and all interested members of the public and private sectors to identify opportunities and partnerships to further the development of rural agricultural economies, including by coordinating rural development programs.
(2) Disseminate on the department’s internet website information, including information provided by federal, state, and local agencies, on opportunities to improve agricultural productivity and further the development of rural agricultural economies.
(3) Review and disseminate economic data compiled by the department on agriculture in rural communities, including reports submitted pursuant to this code.
(4) Prepare reports on the role of agriculture in rural economies, including reports investigating the impact of resource constraints and regulatory compliance requirements on rural agricultural economies.
(b) The secretary shall establish a position within the department’s executive office to assist the secretary in carrying out the purposes of this article. The person appointed to that position shall report to the secretary. The position shall carry responsibilities that may include, but are not limited to, both of the following:
(1) Advising the secretary on matters relating to rural agricultural economies.
(2) Making recommendations to the secretary on actions to further the development of rural agricultural economies, including, but not limited to, increasing broadband access, providing technical, resource, and regulatory compliance assistance, advancing agricultural innovation and technology, establishing programs for education and workforce development, and evaluating recreation and tourism opportunities.

545.
 (a) There is in the Department of Food and Agriculture Fund the Rural Economic Development Account.
(b) The Rural Economic Development Account shall consist of public and private moneys that are deposited in the account.
(c) All moneys deposited in the Rural Economic Development Account shall be available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to carry out the purposes of this article.

546.
 (a) No later than July 1, 2022, the secretary shall prepare and submit to the Governor and the Legislature a comprehensive study on the economic impacts on the state’s agricultural industry resulting from the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (Part 2.74 (commencing with Section 10720) of Division 6 of the Water Code).
(1) The study shall assess economic impacts on, at a minimum, a sub-basin level, with consideration of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act’s direct and indirect economic impacts on agriculture and local economies, including, but not limited to, impacts on land idling, production of specific commodities, labor and employment figures, ancillary agricultural industries, land values, and property and income tax revenues. The study shall also include a broad overview of regional and statewide economic impacts.
(2) The study may include recommendations to mitigate economic impacts, including, but not limited to, incentive-based fallowing and establishment of surface and groundwater markets.
(b) (1) A study to be submitted pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(2) Pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code, this section is repealed on January 1, 2024.

___________________


REVISIONS:
Heading—Line 1.
___________________