in the KNOW

October 17, 2017

State Capitol

State Capitol

Governor Concludes Review of Legislation on His Desk

Over the weekend, Governor Jerry Brown concluded his review of nearly 1,000 bills for the year in order to meet the October 15 deadline to sign or veto measures passed by the Legislature. In total, 977 bills passed the Legislature and reached the governor’s desk in 2017. Overall, he signed 859 measures and vetoed 118 bills for a veto rate of 12 percent this year.

Please read on for an overview of the measures impacting Ag Council members, our position and the governor’s decision regarding those bills.

Air Quality
AB 617 (C. Garcia)     Position: OPPOSE     Status: Signed into law
Requires: 1) ARB to develop community plans to reduce criteria air pollutants and toxic air contaminant emissions, 2) impose higher penalties on facilities for air pollution violations and 3) regular upgrades to emissions-related equipment, among other provisions.

Buy American Requirement
SB 730 (Pan)     Position: SUPPORT     Status: Signed into law
Establishes steps for California to monitor compliance with the federal Buy American provision in school lunch and breakfast programs. SB 730 helps ensure school children consume food of the highest quality and safety, supports locally grown products and benefits our economy.

Buy Californian
AB 822 (Caballero)     Position: SUPPORT     Status: Signed into law
Requires state-owned or operated entities, excluding public universities, colleges and school districts, to buy California agricultural products if the bid is no more than 5 percent higher than a similar bid from out of state. School districts must accept the California bid if it does not exceed the lowest out-of-state bid.

Cap and Trade Auction Revenue Expenditures
AB 109 & AB 134     Position: SUPPORT     Status: Signed into law
Allocates approximately $1.5 billion in expenditures generated from cap and trade auction revenues, including $300 million in funding for agriculture. The funds for agriculture allow agriculture to utilize cap and trade dollars to reduce greenhouse gases at food processing facilities and dairies, as well as lower emissions from mobile sources, such as tractors and harvesting equipment.

Cap and Trade Program Extension
AB 398 (E. Garcia)     Position: SUPPORT     Status: Signed into law
Extends the cap and trade program through 2030 by a two-thirds vote. The bill includes critical cost containment provisions for food processors participating in the cap and trade program, and the program is the most cost-effective way to meet the ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction requirements already in place under California law.

Food & Beverages
AB 841 (Weber)     Position: NEUTRAL     Status: Signed into law
Restricts foods and beverages sold in schools during the school day by prohibiting certain advertising, including logos and company names, unless the food meets school nutrition standards. The measure also prevents schools from participating in a corporate incentive program that rewards pupils with free or discounted foods or beverages that do not comply with nutrition standards when students reach specific academic goals. With amendments adopted to limit the scope of AB 841, Ag Council removed opposition to AB 841.

Multiple Bills     Position: No position     Status: Signed into law
Affordable housing package includes, among other measures: 1) SB 2 (Atkins) a $75 fee on real estate transactions to go toward affordable housing, 2) SB 3 (Beall) a $4 billion housing bond to be placed on the November 2018 ballot to fund housing assistance programs, and 3) SB 35 (Wiener) to streamline the approval process for new housing of all types by eliminating environmental and planning reviews for some projects.

SB 54 (De Leon)     Position: No position     Status: Signed into law
Prohibits state and local law enforcement agencies from using funding or personnel resources to investigate, interrogate, detain, detect or arrest people for immigration purposes with certain exceptions. The bill was amended prior to passage to expand the list of crimes to roughly 800 offenses for which law enforcement can notify and transfer a person to immigration authorities.

SB 63 (Jackson)     Position: OPPOSE     Status: Signed into law
Mandates a new maternity/paternity leave policy on businesses and exposes businesses to litigation. SB 63 allows those working for a business with 20 more employees within a 75-mile radius, who meet specific criteria, to take up to 12 weeks of parental leave to bond with a new child. SB 63 subjects employers to more liability.

AB 1209 (Gonzalez Fletcher)     Position: OPPOSE     Status: Vetoed
Imposes a data collection requirement onto employers to collect and report data to the state pertaining to the mean and median salaries of men and women with the same job. AB 1209 requires the information then be publicly posted onto a website. The purpose of this measure is to publicly shame employers for wage disparities.

AB 450 (Chiu)     Position: No position     Status: Signed into law
Prohibits an employer from providing a federal immigration enforcement agent access to a worksite without a properly executed warrant, with limited exceptions, and prohibits employers from voluntarily consenting to an immigration enforcement agent to review or obtain employee records without a subpoena or court order. Ag Council moved from opposition to “no position” once the author removed punitive civil liability language against employers from the bill and eliminated the provision requiring employers to notify the Labor Commission of a federal immigration worksite enforcement action.

SB 623 (Monning)     Position: SUPPORT     Status: Two-year bill
Establishes the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund within the State Water Resources Control Board to assist those without access to safe and affordable drinking water through grants, loans, contracts or services. Given a solution for disadvantaged communities is needed to help ensure families have clean drinking water, including rural and agricultural areas, Ag Council participated in stakeholder discussions to address drinking water issues and helped develop SB 623. This measure continues to be a priority for Ag Council as we move into 2018.

AB 313 (Gray)     Position: SUPPORT     Status: Vetoed
Restructures the administration and enforcement of water rights at the State Water Resources Control Board in order to bring more accountability and transparency to California’s water management structure. AB 313 creates a new Water Rights Division where an administrative law judge would preside over water rights matters to improve objectivity. The Division would conduct hearings and make recommendations to the board, which the board could accept, reject or modify.

SB 252 (Dodd)     Position: NEUTRAL     Status: Signed into law
Adds new requirements onto well applicants located in critically overdrafted basins. After extensive lobbying by a coalition of ag groups, the following provisions were eliminated: 1) the requirement for well applicants to notify all adjacent landowners of the intent to obtain a new well permit and 2) the mandate that a public meeting be held before a new well permit could be issued. SB 252 still requires well applicants to provide: a map of the location of the well, the proposed capacity and estimated pumping rate for the well, anticipated pumping schedule and an estimated annual extraction volume.

SB 5 (De Leon)     Position: No position     Status: Signed into law
$4 billion water and parks bond measure subject to voter approval on the June 2018 ballot. SB 5 seeks to address the backlog of maintenance in California’s 280-unit park system and emphasizes funding for park-poor areas and disadvantaged communities. SB 5 also contains $18 million for county fairgrounds, $20 million for the Statewide Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP), and $10 million for the healthy soils program. The measure contains some funds for safe drinking water at $250 million and $130 million for Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) implementation.


SB 100 (De Leon)     Position: OPPOSE     Status: Stalled
Creates a new 100 percent renewable target for the California electric grid to be attained by December 2045. Ag Council is concerned a new renewable generation mandate will lead to electric rate cost impacts for our members. It is not known whether the renewable targets in SB 100 could be reached without rate increases that significantly impact agriculture and food processing.

SB 49 (De Leon)     Position: OPPOSE     Status: Stalled
Establishes that existing federal air, climate, water, labor, and endangered species regulations are enforceable under state law. The bill would maintain current regulations despite any future changes by President Donald Trump. SB 49 requires specific state agencies to enforce California standards to be as stringent as the baseline today to protect against any weakening by the federal government.

AB 975 (Friedman)     Position: OPPOSE     Status: Stalled
Makes it easier to designate Wild and Scenic areas and adds further land use restrictions in California where streams and rivers are already protected by multiple state and federal agencies that monitor and regulate activities near streams and rivers. The bill expands the areas that could be designated as Wild and Scenic from adjacent to a river to one-quarter mile on either side of the river and expands the types of areas that could be considered Wild and Scenic. AB 975 could potentially adversely impact water rights, water supply and future water operations.

Health Care
SB 562 (Lara)     Position: OPPOSE     Status: Stalled
Creates a universal, single payer health care system, which results in higher taxes and unsustainable costs. A fiscal analysis states the cost will be $400 billion per year to cover all health care and administrative costs, with half of that coming from existing federal, state and local taxes. The other $200 billion would have to derive from new taxes. One potential method being discussed to cover this enormous cost is a payroll tax on employers with a rate of 15 percent of earned income.

Occupational Health & Safety
SB 772 (Leyva)     Position: OPPOSE     Status: Stalled
Exempts Cal/OSHA from Standardized Regulatory Impact Assessment (SRIA) because proponents of the bill believe the process is duplicative and hinders workplace safety. Currently, California law requires state agencies, such as Cal/OSHA, to conduct a SRIA when a proposed regulation results in an economic impact of $50 million or more. SRIA helps to fully analyze a proposed rule’s economic impact and promotes efficiency. SB 772 reduces accountability and leads to less transparency.

SB 602 (Allen)     Position: OPPOSE     Status: Stalled
Requires the labeling of seeds and plants treated with neonicotinoids (neonics). The bill is unwarranted, not based in science and threatens agriculture given that neonics are used to fight pests that transmit serious diseases endangering agricultural commodities (e.g. Asian citrus psyllid). The Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is responsible for the risk assessment and risk management of registered pesticides. DPR will mitigate risks through appropriate label or use restrictions, if such actions are scientifically justified.

* This document is an overview of many of the bills Ag Council was engaged in during 2017. However, it is not a comprehensive list of all measures passed and signed into law in 2017.