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Filner asks for more money for national farm worker program

May 23, 2002|STAFF REPORT

U.S. Rep. Bob Filner has asked for more money for the National Farmworker Jobs Program. The program helps migrant and seasonal farm workers become economically self-sufficient through employment and job-training services.

Filner sent a letter making the request earlier this month to Ralph Regula, chairman of the House subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education.

The average agricultural worker earns less than $10,000 a year, has no health insurance and lives in poor conditions, Filner's letter states.

The National Farmworker Jobs Program provided 3,711 California farm workers with employment, job training and other services in 2000.

In 2002 Congress granted nearly $80 million for the program, almost $4 million over 2001. But President Bush's proposed budget cuts funding for the program, the letter states.

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The program has a 75 percent success rate and should be expanded, Filner said. Training and improving the skills of farm workers can only help California, he said.

Filner, D-Chula Vista, would be Imperial County's representative in January if he is re-elected to his seat in the November elections.

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