(Nov. 20) SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Upon being sworn in, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed proclamations Nov. 17 for extraordinary legislature sessions. The three special sessions will address workers compensation, the undocumented immigrants drivers license bill and budget reform.

Just as Schwarzenegger stated he would in his first campaign speech, as governor he repealed the increase in car tax fees.

“The problems are staggering, and we will rebuild the state together,” he said.

“Gov. Schwarzenegger understands business and the need for farmers,” said Jasper Hempel, executive vice president of Western Growers, Irvine. “These are messages we never heard from Gov. Davis or the Legislature, so we have high hopes.”

Hempel said Schwarzenegger also placed a moratorium on all new regulations in the state.

“The past administration was passing and signing legislation that was killing us,” Hempel said.

Western Growers also gives thumbs up to the Nov. 12 appointment of Terry Tamminen as the state’s Environmental Protection Agency secretary, Hempel said.

Tamminen has nearly 30 years’ experience in environmental issues and most recently served as the executive director of the Environment Now Foundation in Santa Monica, a private foundation dedicated to protecting, preserving and restoring the environment of California

The Schwarzenegger administration selected James Branham as the state EPA undersecretary.

Branham has served in positions as the undersecretary for the California Resources Agency, chief deputy director in the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and as a staff member in the state Senate.

A.G. Kawamura, the agriculture advocate and partner in Irvine-based Orange County Produce Inc., spent his first week as California’s secretary of food and agriculture getting his feet wet with new responsibilities.

Kawamura’s assistant, Steve Lyle, said the former Western Growers chairman has a full schedule learning about various programs and studying issues.

Central California rancher and former California Secretary of State Bill Jones has been rumored to be Schwarzenegger’s choice to head the state Resources Agency but recently announced that he is considering a run for the U.S. Senate, according to The Fresno Bee.