Hen cage bill gets first approval

The state Assembly has approved a bill that would bar out-of-state egg producers from the California market if they do not follow upcoming rules on hen cages.

The chamber voted 65-12 Tuesday for Assembly Bill 1437, which would make these producers follow the standards in Proposition 2.

The ballot measure, passed in November, requires that hens have a certain amount of space for movement by 2015.

Some opponents of Proposition 2 support the new bill because it would keep the out-of-state producers from gaining a competitive advantage with cheaper cages.

The bill, introduced by Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, now goes to the state Senate.