Assemblymember Holden’s Bill to Boost California Agriculture Approved in Key Senate Committee

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sacramento – Assemblymember Chris Holden’s (D-Pasadena) legislation to promote California’s agricultural economy was overwhelmingly approved today in the Senate Governmental Organization Committee.

AB 199 requires California state agencies to purchase agricultural products from California companies if the price is equal to or less than the lowest out-of-state company. AB 199 also encourages all public schools, school districts, and public colleges to purchase agricultural products within the state.

“It just makes sense to put California-grown crops first. This bill will add to California’s economy by creating more jobs and boosting the state’s bottom line,” said Assemblymember Holden. “In addition, the measure will introduce more Californians to the wide variety of agricultural products grown here.”

“By encouraging government institutions to buy California-grown food, AB 199 benefits the institutions, their clients and the state’s family farmers and ranchers,” California Farm Bureau Federation President Paul Wenger said. “The bill sends a strong signal that Californians and their government agencies should seek out nutritious, affordable foods grown here in the Golden State.”

According to the Department of Food & Agriculture, California is the number one state in agricultural output with farms and ranches earning a record $43 billion last year.  The moderate climate makes it ideal for growing many crops year-round including avocadoes, artichokes, broccoli, carrots, lemons, squash, cauliflower, potatoes, spinach, celery, cabbage and lettuce.

AB 199 passed on a vote 7 to 0.  It now moves to Senate Appropriations Committee.