CA farmworkers press Gov. Newsom to sign bill for COVID-19 relief

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Thursday, September 17, 2020
Vulnerable farmworkers wait for Newsom to sign relief bill
Lawmakers and farmworker advocates are urging Governor Newsom to sign a COVID-19 relief bill before the end of the month.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Lawmakers are urging Governor Gavin Newsom to sign a COVID-19 relief bill for farmworkers before the end of the month.

The first-in-the-nation legislation would protect the health and safety of farmworkers, provide services and prevent disruptions to the nation's food supply.

Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) says COVID-19 cases continue to mount among agricultural and Latino communities in disproportionate numbers across the state.

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He says agricultural workers are three times more likely to contract COVID-19.

In Monterey County Latinos make up 93% of cases but are just 61% of the population.

"Clearly this has threatened California's most vulnerable workers, it has threatened their families and in an industry that is vital not only in California, but In the U.S. and globally," said Assemblymember Rivas.

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A Stanford student took a part-time, summer job on a blueberry farm, and is going viral after exposing how much the workers get paid.

The governor himself acknowledged in July that "stopping the spread of COVID-19 depends on keeping our workers safe. The vital work they do every day puts them and their families at higher risk for exposure and infection. Taking action to protect them will help protect all Californians."

The governor has until Sept. 30 to sign the legislation.