Senate Agriculture Committee

1020 N Street, Suite 244 · Sacramento, CA 95814 · 916-651-1508 (phone) · 916-327-8290 (fax)


This report will provide you with a summary of all bills heard by the Committee as well as a brief synopsis of the informational hearings during the 2007 – 2008 Legislative Session.

For additional information concerning any bill in this summary, please contact the Committee office.

Thank you for your continued interest in agriculture issues. It is important for the Committee to continue advancing agriculture policy issues for California.

Introduction / Senate Bills / Assembly Bills / Informational Hearings


The Senate Agriculture Committee is pleased to provide this End of Session Report for the benefit of the Committee members, their staff, the administration, the lobbying community, and the public. The Committee hopes that this report provides a quick and convenient reference to bills that were considered by the Committee and informational hearings held during the 2007-2008 Legislative Session.

Committee bill files dated 2004 or earlier are available for review at the California State Archives. Committee bill files from last Session are kept with the Committee and are available for public review upon request. Please contact us by phone at (916) 651-1508 or in person at 1020 N Street, Suite 244, if you need more detailed information about any bill included in this report.

The Committee also keeps a record of all informational hearings. The record includes the hearing agenda, various background materials developed by the Committee staff, testimony, and supporting materials submitted by witnesses. In addition, informational hearings are often recorded and occasionally video taped. Please contact us if you need more information about an informational hearing summarized in this report.

Summary of Legislation 

This summary is intended to provide a quick reference to bills that were considered by the Committee during the 2007-2008 Legislative Session. The summary is not intended to provide a complete analysis of each bill. However, analyses are available upon request. If you need more information about a particular bill, which is presented in this report, please review the complete bill analysis.

The summary includes the bill number, the bill’s author, a summary of the bill, and the current status of the bill. Senate Bills are listed first because the Committee normally hears Senate Bills early in the legislative year, followed by Assembly Bills.

Senate Bills

SB 107 (Alquist), as referred to the Committee, would have established the "Healthy Food Retail Innovations Fund" to provide residents of underserved communities with retail food markets that would offer high-quality fruit, vegetables, and other healthy foods and would have encouraged retail innovation. This bill was gutted and amended with language to enact the Wave Pool Safety Act.
Status: Chapter 335, Statutes of 2008

SB 200 (Florez) would have authorized the State Public Health Officer to adopt recall, quarantine, and sanitary regulations necessary to prevent, or eliminate conditions where produce or food processed from produce may carry an illness, infection, pathogen, contagion, toxin or condition that could kill or seriously affect the health of humans. Would have required all leafy green vegetable growers to be licensed by the State Department of Public Health. Would have established an inspection program for leafy green vegetables under the State Public Health Officer to conduct field inspections for compliance with food safety requirements and conduct field water, soil, and produce tests.
Status: Failed in Assembly Agriculture Committee

SB 201 (Florez), as first heard in the Committee, would have established a state mandated standard for Good Agriculture Practices and Hazardous Analysis and Critical Control Point program through Department of Public Health. However, the bill was gutted and amended in the Assembly to establish the Fresh Raw Milk Act of 2008, requiring raw milk dairy farms that chose to comply with the requirements of this bill to develop and maintain an individualized Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan.
Status: Vetoed

SB 202 (Florez) would have established a system to trace back to the field for all California leafy green production.
Status: Failed in Assembly Agriculture Committee

SB 246 (Margett) provides that District 48 is the County of Los Angeles and specifies that the directors of the 48th District Agricultural Association may not serve concurrently on another fair board.
Status: Chapter 203, Statutes of 2007

SB 281 (Maldonado) requires the Department of Food and Agriculture to develop criteria, with the approval of the Department of General Services, for the purchase of goods up to $100,000 or less and disposal of property valued at $50,000 or less by district agricultural associations and the California Exposition and State Fair. By adopting the CDFA criteria, district agricultural associations and the California Exposition and State Fair would not be required to abide by the State Administrative Manual to purchase goods or dispose of property.
Status: Chapter 346, Statutes of 2007

SB 311 (Cogdill) would have appropriated $1 million annually from the General Fund to the Noxious Weed Management Account.
Status: Died in Senate Appropriations Committee on Suspense

SB 486 (Maldonado) would have established the California Avocado Pest and Disease Prevention Act of 2007 to provide more control of the to California of high-risk avocado pests and diseases.
Status: Died in Senate Judiciary Committee

SB 517 (Maldonado) would have required California Department of Food and Agriculture to establish and oversee a program to provide additional funding for successful applicants to the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.
Status: Died in Senate Appropriations Committee on Suspense

SB 556 (Wiggins) creates the Light Brown Apple Moth Fund within California Department of Food and Agriculture from which the department may allocate funds to local agencies for activities to eradicate the Light Brown Apple Moth.
Status: Chapter 190, Statutes of 2007

SB 770 (Cogdill) specifies that the California Department of Food and Agriculture regulated minimum price of milk be used when determining the "sale below cost" value of milk.
Status: Chapter 351, Statutes of 2007

SB 1280 (Maldonado) changes the make-up of the Seed Advisory Board by replacing two seed labeler representatives with two representatives that receive or process seed for sale in California and clarifies that persons that sell seed in California must register annually.
Status: Chapter 399, Statutes of 2008

SB 1404 (Lowenthal) would have required all wholesale establishments or distributors selling plants in containers of five gallons or less to include a label indicating one of four categories of water use for the climate where the plant is purchased.
Status: Failed in Assembly Agriculture Committee

SB 1466 (Corbett) would have required California Department of Food and Agriculture to develop the Citrus Nursery Stock Pest Cleanliness Program by January 1, 2010.
Status: Died in Assembly Appropriations Committee on Suspense

SB 1527 (Yee) would have required the Department of General Services to sell part or all of the real property occupied by District Agriculture Association 1-A (Cow Palace), located in San Francisco and San Mateo Counties, to the City of Daly City at fair market value.
Status: Vetoed

SB 1574 (Florez) would have authorized the establishment of the California Renewable Biomass-based Diesel Commission.
Status: Vetoed

SB 1576 (Florez) would have established “country of origin” labeling for beef, poultry, pork, lamb, fish, or perishable agriculture products sold in the United States.
Status: Died in Senate Appropriations Committee on Suspense

SB 1623 (Yee) recasts provisions of the California Rice Certification Act (CRCA) of 2000, making technical and substantive changes to conform and update the CRCA.
Status: Chapter 414, Statutes of 2008

SB 1723 (Maldonado) requires the first California seller of any agricultural, structural, industrial, or institutional use pesticide packaged in high-density polyethylene (HDPE) containers to establish or participate in a recycling program for their containers.
Status: Chapter 533, Statutes of 2008

SCR 87 (Migden) would have requested a moratorium on any aerial spraying conducted by California Department of Food and Agriculture in the eradication of Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM) until it is demonstrated that pheromone is safe for humans and effective at eradicating LBAM.
Status: Failed in Assembly Agriculture Committee

Assembly Bills

AB 472 (Assembly Agriculture Committee) increases fees associated with brand registration and hide inspections.
Status: Chapter 267, Statutes of 2007

AB 541 (Huffman) establishes sampling and analysis protocols when determining if there is a breach of contract or seed patent infringement of genetically engineered plants and specifies that farmers are not liable for unintended or de minimis breaches of contract or seed patent infringements.
Status: Chapter 424, Statutes of 2008

AB 684 (Leno) would have permitted the cultivation of industrial hemp in California under a pilot program in five counties, Butte, Imperial, Kings, Mendocino, and Yolo.
Status: Vetoed

AB 771 (De Leon) creates a working group between seedless mandarin and honeybee stakeholders to formalize an agreement by June 1, 2008. If the group fails, the California Department of Food and Agriculture will implement mandatory regulations on honeybees and citrus.
Status: Chapter 324, Statutes of 2007

AB 856 (Parra) provides the Secretary of California Department of Food and Agriculture, upon recommendation of the Seed Advisory Board, the option to not provide the minimum $100 annual subvention to counties without registered seed labelers.
Status: Chapter 425, Statutes of 2008

AB 1021 (Berryhill) would have established the California Apple Pest and Disease Prevention Act of 2007 to provide more control of the to California of high-risk apple pests and diseases.
Status: Vetoed

AB 1667 (La Malfa) establishes a definition for “carnival” and “carnival worker” within the Food and Agriculture Code.
Status: Chapter 36, Statutes of 2008

AB 1713 (Assembly Agriculture Committee) revises the distribution of the Motor Vehicle Fuel Account funds, operative July 1, 2008, to statutorily appropriate a minimum of $16.75 million annually to the Department of Food and Agriculture and to counties for pesticide use enforcement, uniform operation of agricultural policy and administration of programs supervised by the department, pest detection and trapping programs, and for emergency detection, investigation, or eradication of agricultural plant or animal pests or diseases.
Status: Chapter 421, Statutes of 2007

AB 1717 (Assembly Agriculture Committee) expands the statute of limitation to prosecute and collect civil penalties for violations of misbranded or adulterated pesticides. Requires structural pest control operators to register annually with the county agriculture commissioner in counties in which they operate their pest control business.
Status: Chapter 338, Statutes of 2007

AB 1718 (Assembly Agriculture Committee), omnibus measure, makes several minor technical, corrective, and noncontroversial changes to provisions related to dairy cows, kiwifruit, walnuts, cut flowers, and Mendocino County winegrapes.
Status: Chapter 124, Statutes of 2007

AB 1735 (Assembly Agriculture Committee) changes milk transportation cooling requirements and alters milk bacteria count standards for raw milk, milk, and milk products.
Status: Chapter 339, Statutes of 2007

AB 1846 (Adams) exempts individuals collecting and hauling inedible kitchen grease for use in their personal vehicles from paying 75% of the $300 transporter fee.
Status: Chapter 321, Statutes of 2008

AB 1913 (Fuller) makes technical changes to the San Joaquin Valley Quality Cotton District, adding new definitions and altering the board makeup. Status: Chapter 189, Statutes of 2008

AB 2168 (Jones) creates farm stands as a new class of food facility, subject to specified limited health and sanitation provisions. Expands the list of people to whom farmers can sell produce that is exempt from size, standard pack, container, and labeling requirements, provided specified requirements are met. Revises the definition of "produce" and "producer." Authorizes the Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture to adopt related regulations.
Status: Chapter 447, Statutes of 2008

AB 2250 (Sharon Runner) allows fair employees to receive compensation in addition to their fair salaries from a non-profit created to assist the fair.
Status: Chapter 452, Statutes of 2008

AB 2284 (Galgiani) provides specific temperature requirements for market milk at specific times; deletes specific frozen yogurt requirements; provides that any instrument used as acceptable security for the Milk Producers Security Trust Fund is subject to revised requirements; and modifies the circumstances under which the Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture may release the issuer of acceptable security from liability.
Status: Chapter 236, Statutes of 2008

AB 2349 (Fuller) changes the penalty for violation of the animal quarantine and pest control provisions from a civil penalty to an administrative penalty with a minimum penalty between $100 and $1,000 per violation.
Status: Chapter 147, Statutes of 2008

AB 2763 (Laird) requires the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to develop and maintain a list of invasive animals, plants, and insects likely to enter California. Requires CDFA to plan for appropriate responses to these invasive pests. Requires CDFA to follow specific protocols based on the plan if pests enter the state.
Status: Chapter 573, Statutes of 2008

AB 2765 (Huffman) requires the Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) or county agricultural commissioner, prior to aerial application of a pesticide under an eradication project in an urban area, to hold at least one public forum and have the Department of Pesticide Regulation and the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment jointly seek a human and environmental health risk evaluation. Provides legislative intent directing commissioners to take an increasing role in urban invasive pests. Requires the listing of all ingredients used in its pesticide formulation.
Status: Chapter 574, Statutes of 2008

AB 2824 (Berryhill) makes further changes to the language in SB 634 (Wiggins), specifically Section 112877 of the Health and Safety Code, as proposed to be added to code in SB 634 defining olive oil grades. Specifies that extra virgin olive oil “would meet” sensory standards rather than “meets” sensory standards.
Status: Chapter 695, Statutes of 2008

AB 2849 (Evans) would have made the theft or removal of a beehive by a person who is not the owner or without the permission of the owner from the property where the beehive is located grand theft when the value of the beehive is in excess of $100.
Status: Vetoed

AB 2850 (Villines) would have required the Secretary of the Department of Food and Agriculture to use only relevant evidence and data submitted during a public hearing when making a decision concerning amendments to the milk stabilization or marketing plan, or concerning amendments to a milk pooling plan.
Status: Died on Senate Inactive File

AB 2881 (Wolk) requires a notice of a “right to farm” disclosure if the property offered for sale is within one mile of “Prime Farmland," "Farmland of Statewide Importance," "Unique Farmland," "Farmland of Local Importance," or "Grazing Land” on the most current “Important Farmland Map” issued by the California Department of Conservation, Division of Land Resource Protection.
Status: Chapter 686, Statutes of 2008

 ACR 117 (Laird) would have outlined the current history of Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM) findings and activities, incidents of illness, past recommendations, and specific issues that need to be addressed related to the LBAM eradication efforts.
Status: Died in Senate Appropriations Committee on Suspense

Informational Hearings

2/27/07 -   Farming and the Environment: An Overview of the 2006 E. coli Outbreaks.
This hearing focused on the impact on the California agriculture industry from the E. coli outbreak in spinach, the findings of the government investigations during the outbreak, and the future of the leafy green industry.
The hearing was held jointly with the Assembly Agriculture Committee at the State Capitol.

6/22/07 -  Food Labeling: Are We Communicating With Consumers?
This hearing discussed the importance of agricultural product labeling as well as international origin labels and examined the information on agricultural products that may pose potential food safety risks.
The hearing was held in Salinas.

2/22/08 -  California Agriculture Carbon Credits: Where Does Ag Play in the Carbon Market?
This hearing focused on carbon credits and what the opportunities and challenges are for California agriculture’s participation in the carbon market. The hearing was held in Salinas.

8/8/08 -  Proposition 2: Confinement of Farm Animals
This hearing was held to fulfill the statutory requirement of Section 9034 of the Elections Code which requires the Legislature to hold a joint informational hearing on ballot initiatives. Proposition 2 would establish farm animal confinement protocols for egg-laying hens, veal calves, and swine.
The hearing was held jointly with the Assembly Agriculture Committee in San Luis Obispo.

Committee Address