WHEREAS, on December 20, 1998, a State of Emergency was proclaimed in Fresno, Kern, Madera and Tulare counties because of the sub-artic freezing temperatures that virtually destroyed all citrus crops in those counties; and

WHEREAS, on January 7, 1999, Governor Gray Davis proclaimed a State of Emergency for Monterey and Kings counties, because of the harsh effects of the sub-arctic freezing temperatures on both citrus and floral crops in those counties; and

WHEREAS, the California Department of Food and Agriculture estimates damage to citrus growers in the six counties in which a State of Emergency was proclaimed to exceed $652 million; and

WHEREAS, more than 13,000 workers are usually employed during the citrus harvest, which, during a normal season, would last through the fall of 1999; and

WHEREAS, citrus industry reports to the Department of California Food and Agriculture estimate that since the freeze, employment levels have dropped by an estimated 65% with additional worker lay-offs expected in the next few weeks; and

WHEREAS, more than 10,000 workers face a significant financial impact resulting from loss of employment and resultant hardship due to the catastrophic freeze; and

WHEREAS, these unemployed workers are in need of immediate financial assistance;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GRAY DAVIS, Governor of the State of California, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Constitution and statutes of the State of California, do hereby issue this order to become effective immediately, authorizing the Employment Development Department to waive the one-week waiting period for all unemployment insurance applicants who are unemployed due to the freeze after December 20, 1998, through the next six months, and who are otherwise eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.