Assembly Member Bigelow coauthors solution to save California fairs

By August 09, 2013

SACRAMENTO — Assembly Member Frank Bigelow, R-O’Neals, Aug. 7 co-authored legislation that would provide county fairs statewide with the funding flexibility they need to remain an annual celebration of agriculture, livestock and local communities for years to come.”

“From the Amador Winegrowers Tasting event to the Jumping Frog Jubilee in Calaveras County to the Livestock Auction at the Madera County Fair, our assembly district is fortunate enough to have some of the best fairs in California,” Bigelow said. “I have had the chance to participate in many of these fairs, and you really get a sense of how great our communities are and why they are such a wonderful place to live. Our fairs help drive the economy through increased tourism and affordable fun for all, and that is why I am honored to coauthor this legislation to ensure county fairs will be held far into the future.”

Senate Bill 741 (Cannella), also known as the California Fairs Sustainability Act, combines funding sources for the 78 fairs throughout the state into the Fair & Exposition Fund. This fund will be generated from multiple sources, both public and private, and ensures that any new revenue generated will be deposited into the Fair & Exposition Fund. SB 741 eliminates payments for fairs except for those related to personnel costs and provides the district agricultural associations have title and control of the personal property of the fair.

Bigelow’s district encompasses 10 fairs:  Amador County Fair; Calaveras County Fair; Chowchilla Madera County Fair; El Dorado County Fair; Gold Country Fair; Madera District Fair; Mariposa County Fair; Mother Lode Fair; Tri County Fair and the Placer County Fair. The fairs throughout the state provide 25,223 full-time jobs, $855 million in annual income generated for California workers, $2.8 billion in total annual consumer spending and $126 million in annual local and state revenues.

Assemblyman Frank Bigelow, R-O’Neals, represents the 5th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes all or parts of Placer, El Dorado, Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne, Mariposa, Madera and Mono counties.

Kirk Kimmerlshue

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