Legislation to help stabilize ag labor workforce in Monterey County, nation unveiled

in Local Roundup

MONTEREY – Faced with a growing labor crisis, five members of the United States House of Representatives, including Rep. Jimmy Panetta, D-Carmel Valley, unveiled bipartisan legislation that provides a path to legal status for undocumented immigrant farmworkers while strengthening employee verification.

The Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2019, which could come up for a vote of the full House by the end of the year, aims to ensure farmers can meet their labor needs well into the future.

“One thing is clear … this bill is a prime example of governing by leadership, bipartisanship, farmers and farmworkers, together in the process, sitting at the table with both sides grinding out the details,” said Rep. Panetta. “Understand the number one issue is the lack of a stable labor workforce. This bill is so important because it protects the existing agricultural workforce while supporting an enduring future workforce.”