Tuesday, 18 June 2024

Ag bill to combat pests passes committee

On Wednesday, the Assembly Committee on Agriculture passed AB 2745, which authorizes a county agricultural commissioner to levy a civil penalty against a person who maintains a premise, plant, or conveyance that is infected or infested with any pest determined to be a public nuisance and who fails to take action to rectify it.

Assemblyman Devon Mathis authored the bill.

Mathis said the bill is meant to combat the multi-billion dollar problem of invasive pests that ravage the agricultural community. Pests disrupt ecosystems and pose a grave threat to agricultural crops.

“It is time to give county agricultural commissioners the enforcement tools they need to spur action and defend farms, both small and large, from this threat. Gone are the days in which negligent property owners face no consequences for their inactions as our agricultural community suffers. A pest infestation can ruin an entire year’s yield, jeopardizing the existence of farms both in my district and across the State of California. with this enforcement tool, county agricultural commissioners can ensure that the known existence of pests is dealt with promptly, before they spread to surrounding agricultural land and throughout the state,” Mathis said.

Mathis thanked the chair, members of the Committee, and committee staff for recognizing the gravity of the problem as well as approving the bill as a solution.

“As my bill continues to move through the legislative process, I will ensure that this bill will provide comfort to those who suffer from the devastating impact of pests,” Mathis said.

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