Farmworker Survey Bills Pt 1

Farmworker Survey Bills Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson with today’s Fruit Grower Report. A Senate bill aimed at finding out more about wages for farmworkers would also cost a lot more money to conduct worker surveys.

Washington State Tree Fruit Association President, Jon DeVaney says it would be a significant cost increase with very little reward …

DeVANEY … “The fiscal note on the bill would be $800,000 in cost in the first year. And then you’re almost at $2 million per biennium thereafter. So, this is not cheap to do.”

DeVaney says the come from an account for the unemployment

insurance system …

DeVANEY … “Well, there’s a fund there but there’s already so many demands on that fund that for the past two years the legislatures had to go back in with supplemental funding of $10 million in 2023 and then another $11-and-a-quarter million in 2024 to backfill those unmet expenses.”

And when you do the math …

DeVANEY … “So, saying that this new and expensive expanded study is paid for when you’re going to pay for it out of an already oversubscribed fund, is really just saying you’re going to be passing a lot of the costs to the taxpayers and unemployment insurance premium payers when you’re not really going to get much tangible benefits out of that.”

DeVaney says they need to prioritize …

DeVANEY … “You really have to flag these issues for legislators and let them know that people are paying attention.”

DeVaney says call your legislators and urge them to OPPOSE SB 5996.

Go to to learn more about this bill and other important notifications.

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