Farm workers in Texas have voted overwhelmingly to approve a new farm law that critics say will hurt them and make their jobs harder.
The Texas Farm Bureau and the Texas Farm Workers Alliance, two of the groups leading the push for a statewide ban on factory farming, announced the result of Sunday’s vote in a press conference.
The bill was approved by a 66-32 vote, according to the Texas Tribune.
The farm bill passed the Senate and the House last week, with the Senate expected to take up the legislation Wednesday.
It also passed the House, with both chambers expected to pass it this week.
In the press conference, Texas Farm Commissioner Bill Baughman and Texas Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the two Republican senators leading the fight against the new law, said the bill will make farming more difficult and costly for farmers and workers.
Baughm said the new bill will force them to move their businesses elsewhere.
Texas’ farm bill has faced criticism from several labor unions and agricultural experts.
The bill has come under attack from Texas lawmakers in recent days, with some members calling for a complete boycott of all meat imports from the state.
Vilsack and Baughmin said they would continue to press for a permanent ban on all meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs imports.
The legislation would also prevent the sale of beef and pork from Texas.
Vilack said he supports a ban on meat imports, but it should be more than a temporary ban.
The new bill would give farmers more flexibility to import meat to comply with a federal court ruling.
The new bill includes language that would require that any farm worker who is injured on the job must be paid for any medical expenses they incur, including for medical costs incurred in the event of injury, according the Texas Bee.
The amendment also requires that farmers notify the Labor Department within two days of any injury.
The legislation would require the state to keep a database of workers who have died, according a summary of the bill provided by the Texas House.
It would also create a state farmworker task force that would provide a report to the governor and other leaders on farm worker health and safety.
The state has a farmworker safety program that has proven effective, according Baughmon, the state’s former farm commissioner.
Baughman told the Texas Observer that the bill was important because Texas has a low rate of farm worker deaths, but he said that it was not enough.
The state should look at an overall strategy to make sure that farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural workers are not being harmed, Baughmer said.
In a statement, the Texas Senate’s Agriculture Committee chairman, Rep. Jerry Patterson, R-Bend, called the vote a victory for workers, farmers, and workers in general.
He said the Texas farm bill “sets a new standard for farmers in the country and will benefit our agricultural industry.”
In Texas, the new farm legislation would create new jobs for workers.
The Texas Farm Labor Federation, the country’s largest farm labor union, said that the legislation “significantly expands protections for farm workers in the state, including a requirement that all farm workers receive annual leave of up to 12 weeks after injury or death.”
The Texas Senate is scheduled to consider the bill Tuesday.