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Alvarado-Gil: Protecting Funding For California County Fairs

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On Wednesday, State Senator Marie Alvarado-Gil was pleased to announce that SB 624, a bill aimed at safeguarding the funding for California fairs, has successfully passed the Assembly Agricultural Committee.

Alvarado Gil was Friday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”.

The bill seeks to enhance an existing fund source for California’s network of fairs, providing vital financial support for fair projects related to public health and safety, infrastructure, deferred maintenance, and reinvestment into the state fairs.

California is renowned for being home to 78 fairs, including 52 district agricultural associations (DAAs), 23 county fairs, two citrus fruit fairs, and the esteemed California Exposition and State Fair (Cal Expo). These fairs are instrumental in promoting agricultural heritage, fostering community engagement, and driving economic growth across the state.

Over the past several years, the fair industry has faced significant challenges, including deferred maintenance costs and increasing public health and safety demands, creating undue financial pressure. In response, Senator Alvarado-Gil introduced SB 624 to bolster the financial stability of California fairs. This crucial bill proposes several key measures to achieve its objectives, including:

Increasing the fairs’ share of tax revenues generated from on-fairground sales from 0.75% to 3.5%.

Providing funding to the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) for costs associated with overseeing District Agricultural Associations.
Allocating resources for technical assistance, training, education, and professional development for fair managers and boards.
Establishing proper oversight and approval by CDFA for the fund distribution process, ensuring transparency and accountability.
Through the collective implementation of these measures, SB 624 presents a pathway to provide a reliable and sustainable funding source for California’s network of fairs. This legislation will enable the fairgrounds to serve communities throughout the state during the joyous fair season and during crises such as floods and fires.

Senator Alvarado-Gil expressed her gratitude stating, “I appreciate the members of the Assembly Agricultural Committee for recognizing the significance of SB 624 and advancing it to the next stage of the legislative process. With continued support from stakeholders, legislators, and the public, this bill can help ensure California’s fair industry’s long-term sustainability and prosperity.”

Senator Alvarado-Gil represents the 4th Senate District including the Counties of Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Inyo, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne.

The ‘Newsmaker of the Day” is heard every weekday morning at 6:45, 7:45 and 8:45 on AM 1450 and FM 102.7 KVML.