Today the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on a package of Western water bills, demonstrating that Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski [R-AK] is still dedicated to identifying potential solutions to the ongoing drought crisis.

The group of bills heard by the Water and Power Subcommittee includes the revised California water legislation introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein [D-CA] in February, as well as bills introduced by Senators Cory Gardner [R-CO], Harry Reid [D-NV] and Jeff Flake [R-AZ].

Jeff Janas

Today, after steadily increasing the State Water Project (SWP) allocation from 10% in December to 45% in March, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) again increased its water delivery for most recipients to 60% of requests for 2016. The extra allocation is primarily due to March storms that provided substantial precipitation to Northern California, filling key northern reservoirs, including Shasta, Oroville and Folsom.

Jeff Janas

The not-so-subtle war being waged against California farmers by pro-labor sympathizers continued in the Assembly yesterday with the hearing of a bill that resets overtime requirements for agricultural employees. Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) authored the legislation (AB 2757) that would repeal the longstanding 10-hour daily overtime requirement and replace it with more onerous overtime thresholds that would incrementally increase daily and weekly overtime requirements over a four-year period.

Jeff Janas

Today, Western Growers and the California Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA) issued a joint press release announcing the organizations will be filing an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit challenging provisions of AB 1513, a bill signed into last year law. That law provides a safe harbor from class action lawsuits to employers who make back payments to piece-rate employees for rest periods and other “nonproductive time.”

Jeff Janas

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