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in the KNOW

July 1, 2016

Legislature takes Action on Numerous Bills Before July Recess

State Capitol

State Capitol

The Legislature adjourned on June 30 for a month-long recess during July.  Legislators return to Sacramento on August 1, and the deadline for bills to pass the Legislature is August 31. Prior to their departure, legislators took action on many bills this week.

Ag Council is working on several policy fronts including climate change, water, and labor, particularly the ag overtime wage bill. Read on for further details about the bills Ag Council is actively lobbying.

LABOR
AB 1066 (Gonzalez) Gut & amend ag overtime wage bill
Position: OPPOSE

After failing passage in the Assembly, the ag overtime measure was revived in the Senate by the bill author, Assemblywoman Gonzalez (D-San Diego). The author gutted a bill in the Senate and replaced the language with the ag overtime text. This action resuscitates the ag overtime bill and gives it another chance for consideration.

Status: AB 1066 was approved by the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee on June 29 and is awaiting consideration in the Senate Committee on Appropriations, which will occur in August.

CLIMATE CHANGE
SB 1383 (Lara) Short-Lived Climate Pollutants
Position: OPPOSE

The bill mandates a 40 percent reduction of methane, a 40 percent reduction of hydrofluorocarbon gases and a 50 percent reduction of black carbon (which includes diesel) below 2013 levels by 2030. Instead of this approach, Ag Council urges the Legislature to support incentives to fund voluntary research and projects that reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants.

Status: SB 1383 passed the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources on June 27 and will next be heard in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.

SB 32 (Pavley) Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions
Position: Oppose

Current law requires California to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

(GHGs) to 1990 levels by the year 2020. The Air Resources Board (ARB) implemented the cap and trade program to achieve this goal. The program does not have authorization to continue beyond 2020. SB 32 would authorize ARB to approve a statewide GHG emissions limit that is equal to 40 percent below the 1990 level by the year 2030, among other provisions.

Status: SB 32 was approved by the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources on June 27 and is pending in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.

BILLS NO LONGER UNDER CONSIDERATION DUE TO LOBBYING EFFORTS & OPPOSITION IN THE LEGISLATURE

WATER

SB 1317 (Wolk) Groundwater extraction permits
Position: OPPOSE
Status: Not considered due to lack of support

SB 1317 would mandate additional requirements to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) and undermine the local control element critical to the implementation of SGMA.

Status: Due to a lack of support, SB 1317 was not considered during a hearing in the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks & Wildlife on June 28.

LABOR

SB 1166 (Jackson) Unlawful employment practice
Position: OPPOSE
Status: Failed passage in committee

Under SB 1166, employees who work for an employer for more than 12 months would have been able to receive up to 12 weeks of protected parental leave to bond with a new child within one year of the birth, adoption or foster care placement – with the possibility of 24 weeks of leave for those who work for large employers. The bill is another mandate that increases costs for employers and exposes them to litigation.

Status: SB 1166 passed by the Senate and, given the strong opposition, it failed passage when it was considered in the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee.

For a comprehensive list of bills, click HERE.

Ag Overtime Bill Passes Senate Labor Committee

The gut and amend bill, AB 1066, to change overtime requirements for agricultural workers passed the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee on June 29, as anticipated. AB 1066 is now pending in the Senate Appropriations Committee where Ag Council and a large coalition continue to oppose the measure.

As our members recall, the previous bill opposed by Ag Council and others, failed passage in the Assembly. AB 1066, by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), repeals the current overtime wage requirement in California for agricultural workers, which pays overtime after 10 hours of work in a day and 60 hours in a week, and phases in a new overtime wage law culminating in a requirement to pay overtime after eight hours in one day or 40 hours in a week by the year 2022.

Under existing law, California is one of just a few states requiring overtime pay to agricultural workers after 10 hours in one day and 60 hours in a week, which recognizes the flexibility that farmers and employees need given the variable nature of farming. AB 1066 adds an unnecessary regulatory burden onto agriculture and makes it difficult to remain competitive, particularly when combined with the recently passed $15 minimum wage law and other regulatory requirements in California.

TAKE ACTION — Click the HERE to join Ag Council in opposing AB 1066 by emailing a letter to your legislators via our Action Center.

Sen. Cannella & State Senate Recognize June as Dairy Month

Ag Council thanks Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) for authoring a resolution, SCR 157, in the State Senate to proclaim June 2016 as Dairy Month in California.

The resolution, approved by the Senate on June 30, honors the work of California dairy producers, acknowledges dairy farmers’ contributions to the economy, and encourages Californians to continue to support the American dairy industry by including dairy products as part of a healthy diet.

The resolution includes the following clauses, among its provisions:

  • California is America’s number one milk-producing state, the number two cheese-producing state, and dairy is the state’s number one agricultural commodity; and
  • 99 percent of California dairy farms are family owned and dairy farming in California has a 200 year heritage; and
  • 189,000 jobs depend on California’s dairy industry, including 55,000 milk production and processing jobs

Ag Council appreciates Senator Cannella’s effort to honor California’s dairy farmers and recognize the positive impact the industry has on our economy. We also thank the following bipartisan senators for co-authoring the resolution: Senator Anderson, Senator Bates, Senator Fuller, Senator Gaines, Senator Galgiani, Senator Huff, Senator Moorlach, Senator Morrell, Senator Nguyen, Senator Nielsen, Senator Pan, Senator Runner, Senator Stone, and Senator Vidak.

Click HERE to read the resolution.