The Oregon Association of Nurseries announced its federal and state legislative agendas for 2009. On the federal level, the top priority continues to be comprehensive immigration reform, which includes border security, an adjustment of status for workers currently in the United States, and a visa system that is flexible and provides for a future flow of workers.
Other federal priorities include implementation of various initiatives in the 2008 Farm Bill; reauthorization of transportation projects that may include use of plant materials to achieve environmental goals; a national strategy for plant pest and disease control efforts; funding for development and implementation of the systems approach to battling pest and disease issues; and a balanced approach to pesticide rulemaking. The OAN is opposed to expansions of the Clean Water Act that would apply the law to ponds and irrigation conveyance structures, and it also opposes card-check unionization.
On the state level, the OAN is following issues related to labor, water, taxation, transportation, metal theft, land use and the environment. It opposes attempts to regulate immigration at the state level. In terms of wages, the OAN may seek measures, such as tax credits, to mitigate the impact of automatic minimum wage hikes on agricultural employers. OAN supports measures to increase freight mobility. Metal thefts remain a concern for nursery producers, and OAN will pursue a bill to increase enforcement against metal thieves.
To download these agendas, click on the links in the first sentence of this post.