Assemblymember Arambula Presents Bill to Increase Funding for Citrus Diseases Prevention

For immediate release:

(Sacramento) - Yesterday on the Assembly Floor, Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) presented SB 243 which appropriates $9.6 million for the prevention and management of citrus diseases. 

“It is an honor to be a co-author and present SB 243 in the Assembly,” said Arambula.  “Our state’s citrus growers are under a real threat from disease pressures and these funds will help the Department of Food and Agriculture combat destructive pests like the Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) and the diseases it spreads.” 

On Monday, Arambula presented SB 243 by Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton) on the Assembly Floor for a full vote.  SB 243 appropriates $9,616,000 million from the Citrus Disease Management Account to the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) for operating expenses; it passed the Assembly 77 – 0. 

The Citrus Disease Management Account was created in statute and consists of funding sources from federal, industry, and other non-General Fund Sources that can be used for the purpose of combating citrus pests and diseases.  Transferring this money to CDFA will help accelerate existing programs and outreach to combat citrus diseases.

The ACP is a pest that carries a disease called Huanglongbing (HLB) that effects citrus trees.  ACP was discovered in Southern California in 2008 and has continued to spread across the state.  HLB can be very destructive and bacteria from infected trees can be carried to healthy trees as the psyllid feeds on infected tree tissue.  HLB poses a serious threat to the California citrus industry and SB 243 will help mitigate that threat.  

SB 243 is sponsored by California Citrus Mutual and is supported by California Farm Bureau.

Below are links to audio of Assemblymember Arambula:

Assemblymember Arambula says SB 243 is necessary to respond immediately to the citrus disease problem. (:14)

Assemblymember Arambula says the Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) issue is not new but is currently a growing problem. (:14)

Assemblymember Arambula says agricultural communities and consumers will suffer if nothing is done to stop the spread of Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP). (:13)

Assemblymember Arambula says SB 243 has support from Democrats and Republicans.  (:07)