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Farm Workers Up For Overtime Pay If Governor Brown Signs Bill

KCBS_740 SACRAMENTO (KCBS) -- California lawmakers are passing dozens of bills in a flurry of end-of-session activity, including full overtime pay for farmworkers, and an overhaul of how we vote in elections.

California farmworkers will get overtime if they work beyond eight hours a day, under a bill approved by the legislature.

That's just one of a bevy of bills passed by state lawmakers before Tuesday's end-of-session deadline.

The Assembly approved a landmark bill that mandates overtime pay for agricultural workers who put in more than an eight-hour day. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon says it's remarkable that it took until 2016 to guarantee farmworkers the same rights most other Californians enjoy.

"These are folks that I've worked with, and know exceptionally well. This means a lot to them – obviously being able to receive overtime means a lot, in terms of dignity, and respect for their work – it means just as much," Rendon told KCBS.

Republicans opposed the bill, saying it will eliminate jobs and raise the cost of food. The Western Growers also denounced its passage, arguing it will hurt workers and the economy. The legislature also sent to the governor a bill that will eventually require every California voter to get a ballot by mail, with "vote centers" replacing neighborhood precincts for those who still want to vote in person.

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