Major Support for Senator Dave Cortese's Life-Saving Farmworker Safety Bill, SB 1299

Today marks a significant milestone for SB 1299, authored by Senator Dave Cortese (D-San Jose), as it successfully passed out of the Senate Insurance Committee. Highlighting the critical nature of this bill, Teresa Romero, President of the United Farm Workers, testified in person—sharing her support for SB 1299 and underscoring the danger of inaction and the lives at stake for California’s agricultural workers. This key development advances the bill aimed at saving lives by compelling employer compliance with state heat regulations for these essential workers.

“Today we took a major step towards passing a law that will unequivocally save people’s lives. This committee passage is a critical step forward for SB 1299,” said Senator Cortese. “This reflects our commitment to ensuring safer and fairer working conditions for the people who form the backbone of our agricultural industry. If you’ve felt the heat at all this month, you know why we’re doing this”

One notable endorsement, Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas (D-Salinas) has joined as a co-author of SB 1299. Speaker Rivas’ support highlights the bill’s importance and strong legislative backing.

"I am honored that the Speaker has joined me in championing SB 1299,” said Senator Cortese. “As someone who grew up in a family of farm workers, he knows firsthand the challenges and the sacrifices intrinsic to their work. SB 1299 is a critical step towards ensuring dignity, safety, and fair treatment for these hardworking individuals. Their labor sustains our communities, and it is our duty as leaders and legislators to protect their rights and well-being. The Speaker and I understand this, and will work tirelessly to achieve justice and equity for California's farmworkers.”

Another key supporter, Teresa Romero, President of United Farm Workers, testified in support of SB 1299 at today’s hearing. Her testimony shed light on the pressing needs and challenges faced by farmworkers.

“Across California, farm workers continue to endure extremely high temperatures that create life-threatening risks,” she said. “California’s outdoor heat regulations increase the chances that farm workers come home safe. We applaud Senator Cortese for his leadership in encouraging more employers to comply with basic standards such as cool water, access to shade, and rest breaks from the exhaustion that comes from heat.”

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Senator Dave Cortese represents Senate District 15, which encompasses San Jose and much of Santa Clara County in the heart of Silicon Valley. Visit Senator Cortese’s website: