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Holden’s bill to boost California agriculture passes second committee on unanimous vote

The Assembly Agriculture Committee today heard testimony on Assemblymember Chris Holden’s legislation to ensure that California fruit, nuts, livestock and vegetables are given priority when it comes to state purchasing. Under Holden’s AB 199 Choose California Act, state agencies would be required to give California agriculture producers priority when purchasing food products if the price is within 5% of the lowest out-of-state competitor. School districts would have to purchase California grown products as long as they aren’t more expensive than out-of-state products.
“AB 199 uses the state’s purchasing power to bolster California’s Agri-business and that means more jobs and more revenue and that’s good for California’s bottom line,” said Assemblymember Holden. “This bill is a win-win for everyone. The public institutions get a locally-grown product, we’re helping create opportunities for our farmers and a new appreciation for local food helps stimulate the economy.”
“California Citrus Mutual is excited to support this legislation as it puts before our young people and population the wonderful bounty we produce in California. To have this focus is a win for agriculture and a win for our state.” Joel Nelsen, President, California Citrus Mutual
The Agriculture Committee voted unanimously (7 to 0) in favor of AB 199. Earlier in the session the measure was approved by the Assembly Accountability and Administrative Review Committee. It now moves to Assembly Appropriations for fiscal consideration.

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