California's Heat Safety Law and McConnell on Farm Bill Deadline

California's Heat Safety Law and McConnell on Farm Bill Deadline

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson with your Agribusiness Update.

**In 2005, following farmworker deaths, California established the nation’s first heat-safety law for outdoor workers.

Since then, California has tightened its Heat Illness Prevention Standard, one of the most stringent in the nation.

The law includes requirements for shade, water, rest, and a heat-acclimation process for workers.

Central Valley farmer Joe Del Bosque says they’re trying to make employees more aware of the dangers and how to protect themselves.

**The Economic Policy Institute claims employers routinely underpay farm workers, but federal investigations into this problem have dropped to an all-time low thanks to funding and staffing constraints.

Since 2000, the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division, with only 810 investigators to protect 165 million workers, has seen investigations drop by more than 60%.

The EPI wants Congress to provide the DOL more resources for strong investment in farm worker protections.

**Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tells Roll Call that Congress is running out of legislative working days before the current Farm Bill expires on September 30.

McConnell is the latest member of Congress to admit the timeline for a new farm bill is shifting past September, pushing to a new December 31 deadline.

If the farm bill does get pushed to 2024, a one-year extension becomes likely in the presidential election year.

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