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SB-721 California Farmworker Day.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 02/19/2021 09:00 PM
SB721:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 721


Introduced by Senator Hueso

February 19, 2021


An act to add Section 6731 to the Government Code, relating to California Farmworker Day.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 721, as introduced, Hueso. California Farmworker Day.
Existing law requires the Governor to proclaim certain days each year for specified reasons.
This bill would designate August 9 of each year as California Farmworker Day, and require the Governor to annually proclaim August 9 as California Farmworker Day. The bill would make legislative findings in this regard.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares as follows:
(a) Agricultural labor consists of planting, picking, harvesting, tending, and preparing crops and other agricultural produce, like dairy, for market or storage.
(b) California’s agricultural sector makes up 2 percent of the state’s economy. California is the top agricultural producing state in the United States, bringing in over $50 billion from agricultural products in 2019, and producing over 13 percent of the United States’ agricultural value. California produces over 400 different commodities, including two-thirds of all fruits and nuts in the United States and more than a one-third of all vegetables in the United States. These agricultural commodities are exported globally.
(c) The United States has 3 million farmworkers, and California has the largest proportion of farmworkers in the country. And, although there is no definite data, because it is difficult to track data on immigrant farmworkers, it is estimated that 50 percent to 75 percent of the farmworkers in the United States are undocumented.
(d) Most farmworkers in California make hourly wages, and some agricultural sectors pay their laborers more than minimum wage. However, because hourly farm labor is often seasonal, farmworkers earn disproportionately lower wages than full time employees.
(e) Farmworkers in California routinely experience environmental hazards in order to put food on our tables. Farmworkers are exposed to toxic chemicals and pesticides, and must operate dangerous machinery. They often labor long hours in order to meet the needs of seasonal crops, while facing continuously hotter summers and toxic air quality brought on by California’s increasingly destructive wildfires.
(f) California’s farmworkers must also continue to labor during the COVID-19 pandemic that disproportionately affects poorer minority communities; communities that make up a majority of California’s farm labor force
(g) Farmworkers are vital to California. They contribute the skilled labor necessary to feed Californians daily, and their benefit to the state, the nation, and the globe often goes unrecognized. That is why it is necessary to name a day after farmworkers in order to honor their contributions to California.

SEC. 2.

 Section 6731 is added to the Government Code, to read:

6731.
 (a) August 9 of each year shall be designated as California Farmworker Day to highlight, remember, and appreciate the work that farmworkers contribute daily in California.
(b) The Governor shall annually proclaim August 9 as California Farmworker Day.