Farmworker Housing Concessions Pt 1

Farmworker Housing Concessions Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. A step in the right direction after a judge’s ruling removes “some” emergency farmworker housing rules, seen by many in the industry as unworkable.

Washington Farm Bureau CEO John Stuhlmiller says the rules need to change as our knowledge changes …

STUHLMILLER … “So, these are emergency rules, so they’re based on the emergent need to deal with COVID, but we already know that vaccinations are happening and the science around COVID, I guess you’d say, has changed back and forth, you know, do you need one mask, two masks, no mask, six feet, three feet, no feet between people and all of those things.”

That’s why, Stuhlmiller says the Department of Health needs to catch up …

STUHLMILLER … “So, we’ve argued all along that the Department needs to get into step with things happening, including, if everybody gets vaccinated, now what do you do for the temporary worker housing and there’s no provision for that. So, they’re not thinking ahead.”

Once everything is considered, Stuhlmiller says it’s all common sense …

STUHLMILLER … “So, we’re hoping, and that’s what we’re expressing in our comments for this new round for emergency rules, that they will take, one, the judges rebuff that you’ve got to give a public process, you’ve got to give a public process, you’ve got to not have unworkable rules, and you’ve got to think about what helps the industry as well as farmworkers. It’s not an either or, both have to be dealt with to make this work.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on the changes made and some potential changes yet to come for the farmworker emergency housing rules.

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