This week, the CCM Board of Directors and Government Relations Committee had virtual meetings with several State and Federal policymakers to discuss some of the major issues currently affecting the industry. Those issues included water – the recently announced allocations, drought preparedness, infrastructure investment, SGMA implementation, voluntary settlement agreements – guest worker reform, the impacts of COVID-19, and the state and federal governments’ approaches to climate change relative to agriculture incentive programs.
At the State level, meetings were held with California Natural Resource Secretary Wade Crowfoot, CDFA Secretary Karen Ross, and Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Division Director Victoria Hornbaker, the Governor’s Chief Deputy Cabinet Secretary, and Legislative Counsel, and Senator Andreas Borgeas, Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee.
On the Federal side, the group met with the White House Director of Public Engagement, Congressman Jim Costa, who sits on the House Agriculture Committee, and Senate Ag Committee staff members Dudley Hoskins and Jeremy Witte.
The Board and Committee also heard from CCM’s state and federal advocates, Kahn, Soares, Conway, and The Russell Group. Both firms provided an outlook on the state and federal administrations’ policy priorities, legislative activities, and the status of budget and appropriations negotiations.
In non-COVID years, the Board and Committee travels to Sacramento to meet with state elected officials and agency representatives for the annual “Government Relations Trip” each Spring. Although in-person meetings were not possible this year, the virtual format allowed us to meet with D.C. representatives and high-level policymakers who may otherwise be difficult to schedule in-person. While we look forward to resuming in-person activities, we are excited to seize new opportunities to continue advocating for the citrus industry here at CCM.
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