SACRAMENTO – Three bills authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D – Santa Monica) aimed at creating a healthier, safer, and more ethical California all passed the Senate Committee on Appropriations this afternoon. AB 1009, which will establish the Farm to Community Food Hub Program, passed the Committee with a 5-2 vote. AB 1282, the California Pet Blood Bank Modernization Act, passed the Committee with unanimous, bipartisan support. AB 1066, which will create a Fresh Water Report Card, passed the Committee and enjoyed the same unanimous, bipartisan support.
California Farm to Community Food Hub Program – AB 1009
AB 1009 establishes the Farm to Community Food Hub Program and proposes funding for a regional pilot program to establish three farm to community food hubs in northern, central, and southern California. The food hubs created under AB 1009 will prioritize aggregation and distribution from farms and ranches that are 500 acres or less, cooperatively owned, or owned by socially disadvantaged, beginning, limited resource, veteran, minority, or disabled farmers and ranchers to various public institutions. “The pandemic has resulted in the unpredictability and loss of markets, which has had a disproportionate impact on California’s small-scale farmers; particularly historically underserved farmers of color. Food system reform increasingly calls for more regionalized food systems, which in turn provide greater resilience in times of natural or public health disaster,” Assemblymember Bloom continued, “AB 1009 serves as an opportunity to support disadvantaged communities as they recover from the drastic economic impacts of this pandemic”. AB 1009 will be heard next on the Senate Floor.
California Pet Blood Bank Modernization Act – AB 1282
AB 1282 authorizes California licensed veterinarians to operate humane community blood banks to produce and sell or transfer animal blood and blood products. Currently, voluntary community-based blood banking isn’t allowed in California and it is the only state in the country that requires animal blood to come from so-called “closed colony blood banks.” “This ‘closed colony’ model sources blood from animals that are kept in inhumane conditions for the sole purpose of having their blood collected over and over again,” Assemblymember Bloom continued, “AB 1282 allows for a more humane, voluntary solution for sourcing animal blood while also establishing conditions to eventually phase out the captive closed colony canine blood banks.” AB 1282 now heads to the Senate Floor for a full vote.
Freshwater Report Card – AB 1066
California’s rivers, lakes, and streams are not monitored for recreational water quality in the same manner as ocean beaches. As it currently stands, visitors to freshwater recreation sites may be exposed to contaminated water with no knowledge of its contamination and what little monitoring data that does exist is not available to the public. AB 1066 protects public health by creating a uniform set of statewide monitoring standards and protocols for testing bacteria in high use freshwater bodies throughout the state. The findings will then be posted in a single place for water quality data to be publicly shared. “AB 1066 will address a key public health challenge that many Californians face in outdoor recreation,” said Assemblymember Bloom, “We need to make sure that there are scientific and health-based bacterial standards, ongoing water quality monitoring, and public notification for freshwater recreation to create safer recreational experiences so that all Californians can enjoy our freshwater lakes and rivers.” AB 1066 is now headed for a full vote on the Senate Floor.