October 2016

SWIIM’s story begins seven years ago when an entrepreneur, scientist, engineer and businessman came together and conceptualized the idea for a technological solution that would help manage water use more efficiently.

“When we started in late 2009, the concept of ‘AgTech’ didn’t really exist yet so when we were pitching our idea, people thought we were nuts,” said SWIIM CEO Kevin France.

On September 15, 2016, the California State Water Resources Control Board staff released a draft proposal to update the Bay-Delta Plan’s water quality requirements for salinity in the southern Delta and water flows in major tributaries to the San Joaquin River (the Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and Merced Rivers) which drain into the southern Delta.  The draft proposes increasing flows for fish and wildlife; the proposed flow objective is designed to protect at-risk native fish species by leaving more water in the rivers during the February through June time period.  The staff proposal recommen

On September 12, 2016, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law AB 1066, which will gradually lower the daily and weekly hours of work thresholds for paying overtime to agricultural employees.  Currently, agricultural employees are entitled to be paid overtime when working over ten hours in a workday or more than six days in a workweek.  On the seventh day of work, the first eight hours worked must be paid at 1½ times the employee’s regular rate of pay, and any hours over eight must be paid at twice the employee’s regular rate of pay.

The California Legislature completed its annual business on August 31 and members have departed Sacramento for the remainder of the year.  Bills that passed out of the legislature have been submitted to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk.  He has until September 30 to issue his signature or veto.  The 2016 legislative year was extremely active for issues affecting California agriculture.  Below is a brief snapshot of some of the high-profile bills that were acted on this year and the action, if any, that has been taken by Governor Brown at the time of this writing.

Matthew Allen

Rob Yraceburu


Wonderful Orchards, LLC

Shafter, CA

Member Since 1988

Director Since March 2016


Tim Linden

In February of this year, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away suddenly.  In the months since, I have often paused to think about the way the judiciary has changed in my lifetime, especially in my years as a lawyer.  Legal scholars point to the Warren Court of the 1950s and ‘60s as the turning point when the justices moved away from the strict confines of the text of the Constitution and strong deference to prior court decisions, and moved into an era of activism.

Scalia was not one to let this pass silently by.

Tom Nassif

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