The Assembly finished it’s work last night at about 6:30, getting through a deadline for settling the bills from the "House of Origin." [It is kind of strange finishing a deadline not at 3 AM] That means that a bill introduced by a member of the Assembly had until the end of business today to be voted off of our floor or the bill dies. [Win or go home as they say in the playoffs] The Senate faced the same deadline for their House of Origin and was finishing their work yesterday also.
There is one bill of note that passed jumps out that I haven’t reported on yet from yesterday.
[I decided that it would be nice to get home at a decent hour while the kids are awake or not 'make' my staff stay late and write an analysis of the days work for me, I'll have more later on some of the actions taken...we did stop a few bad bills or discourage some from even being taken up!]
The bill had to do with aerial spraying in the Bay Area. A pest known as the Light Brown Apple Moth has become enough of a problem that the Ca Dept of Food and Ag, with others had moved to eradicate the pest. This has touched off a firestorm in the Bay Area when application of a material to accomplish was slated to begin soon. This then hatched a series of bills to cause all sorts of ‘fixes’ to spraying. One of them was AB 2760 that passed with the minimum 41 votes at the time of vote yesterday. It would require a full bore EIR, environmental impact report, to first be completed before applying a material for pests.
EIR’s of course take quite a while to complete and by then the horse is out of the barn on the issue, when you have a pest such as this moth attacking and destroying all sorts of agricultural and ornamental plants on farms and at people’s homes. Meanwhile the pest spreads. One precedent for urban spraying was to eradicate the Med Fly as was done back in the early 80′s. There was much howling about that then too. Of course, as I write this at my home desk on our farm in far NorCal, it is just a way of life here in rural areas where ag is big. So are mosquitoes but that’s another story.
Some of the other related legislation was actually supportable that clarified the public hearing process for potential pest actions or notifications, etc. Others though, called for an election to be held for the eradication to happen. The method we’re speaking of isn’t even a chemical in the normal sense, it is a mating disruptor that time-releases pheromone that greatly inhibits the mating process of the moth by confusing the amorous moth with searching everywhere the pheromone is and finding no mate. [This could be ripe for a bad joke or a song lyric but I'll leave that to you, the readers] All in all a pretty natural way to go to stop the moth life cycle.
We’ll see if the Senate sees the light on this issue and still allows this ability to take action on these pests.