Gov. Brown Vetoes Two Ag Heat Bills

Gov. Brown has vetoed two pieces of legislation related to heat regulations for farm workers. Brown vetoed Assembly Bill 2676 by Assemblyman Charles Calderon (D-Whittier) that would have made it a crime for farmers not to provide adequate shade and water to their field workers, and Assembly Bill 2346 by Assemblywoman Betsy Butler (D-Los Angeles) which would have created new standards for protecting farm workers from heat-related illness.

In his AB 2676 veto message, Brown noted that California has enhanced its safety regulations in recent years and has the most stringent standards in the nation to protect workers in all outdoor industries. "While I believe enforcement of our heat standards can be improved, I am not convinced that creating a new crime — and a crime that applies only to one group of employers — is the answer," Brown wrote. "Instead, we should continue to enforce our stringent standards for the benefit of all workers in all industries."

In his veto message of AB 2346, Brown said, “This bill is flawed. It would create through legislation a new enforcement structure that would single out agricultural employers and burden the courts with private lawsuits. I believe the regulatory process is more flexible and the better way to improve standards for farm workers."