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AM Alert: Farmworker overtime, one more time

Farm worker Cyress Carrasco (cq) reaches for a ripe Mandarin Orange in a grove in Penryn. The Senate is expected to vote on a bill guaranteeing farm workers overtime pay on Monday. Sacramento Bee/ Randall Benton
Farm worker Cyress Carrasco (cq) reaches for a ripe Mandarin Orange in a grove in Penryn. The Senate is expected to vote on a bill guaranteeing farm workers overtime pay on Monday. Sacramento Bee/ Randall Benton Sacramento Bee Staff Photo

Is the second time the charm?

The Senate is expected to vote Monday on Assembly Bill 1066, a gut-and-amend bill that would lower the threshold for overtime pay to farmworkers authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego.

The measure is likely to pass the more liberal Senate but will face a tougher fight in the Assembly. A bill with the same purpose also authored by Gonzalez died on the Assembly floor in June. Gonzalez has said she is hopeful she can win over a few more Democrats the second time around.

Some big-ticket items that the Legislature was expected to address stalled last week. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Paramount, said a deal on affordable housing was “dead” on Thursday and lawmakers struck Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed amendment to Senate Bill 32 reauthorizing cap-and-trade.

WORTH REPEATING: “If we don’t act, the Salton Sea will become a massive dust bowl.” - Sen. Barbara Boxer, urging faster restoration of the sea to prevent “environmental disaster”

FOLLOW THE MONEY: See where the money’s going in California elections with our online tool: The Money Trail, now updated to include 24-hour filings.

BY THE NUMBERS: Campaign committees for and against measures on the Nov. 8 ballot reported raising more than $1.5 million in the week ending Thursday. Collecting the most was the campaign to pass Proposition 52, a constitutional amendment that would lock in a Medi-Cal funding stream for hospitals. The California Hospitals Committee on Issues gave $1 million to Proposition 52. The criminal justice ballot measure sponsored by Gov. Jerry Brown collected $250,000, all of it from the California Democratic Party.

HOT TOPIC: As wildfires continue to ravage California, members of Cal Fire Local 2881, representing more than 6000 Cal Fire workers, are staging a rally at 11 a.m. on the north steps of the Capitol to continue to advocate for higher wages for the state’s firefighters.

“Cal Fire does great work, they do important work, lets take care of the pay disparity issue,” Terry McHale, policy director for Cal Fire Local 2881, said Friday.

McHale said that Cal Fire is losing hundreds of firefighters to local departments due to the pay disparity. A 2014 report from the California Department of Human Resources showed that state firefighters made a third less on average compared to their local counterparts.

“We’ve got these young men and young women working 92 hours, working weeks at a time, making minimum wage,” McHale said.

McHale said the rally is meant to be “more of an educational rally than a protest rally” and that the firefighters “like” Gov. Jerry Brown, with whom they have been negotiating.

CELEBRATING: Happy birthday to Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens, who is turning 39.

Editor’s Note: This post has been corrected to reflect that Assembly Bill 1066 would lower the threshold for overtime pay for farmworkers. It would require overtime pay after eight hours worked in a day instead of the 10 hours currently required.

Anshu Siripurapu: 916-321-1060, @AnshuSiripurapu Jim Miller of the Bee’s Capitol Bureau contributed to this report.

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