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End of Session Recap - $60 Million Approved for Food Processors to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

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End of Session Recap - $60 Million Approved for Food Processors to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

CLFP was actively engaged in many critical policy issues during the end of the legislative session, which adjourned September 16. These issues included energy, federal regulations, labor, water and greenhouse gas reduction fund expenditures.

A key energy bill that CLFP opposed was SB 100 (de Leon) which would have mandated that California establish a 50 percent renewable portfolio standard by 2026 and 60 percent by 2030. CLFP is concerned a new renewable generation mandate will lead to significant electricity and natural gas cost impacts for our members. Due to strong opposition the bill stalled at the end of the legislative session.

Federal Regulations
CLFP was opposed to SB 49 (de Leon) and worked with an ag and business coalition to help stop the bill on the final day of the legislative session. This measure establishes that existing federal air, climate, water, labor and endangered species regulations are enforceable under state law. The bill intended to maintain current regulations despite any future changes by President Donald Trump. SB 49 would require specific state agencies to enforce California standards to be as stringent as the baseline today to protect against any weakening by the federal government.

CLFP, in conjunction with a large and diverse employer coalition, opposed several labor bills that would increase costs and litigation exposure to employers in the state.  

Senate Bill 63, a measure by Senator Jackson, would mandate a new maternity/paternity leave policy on businesses and exposes businesses to litigation. SB 63 allows those working for a business with 20 or 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 is an inflexible bill that creates a seven-month protected leave of absence for certain employees when combined with other leave and subjects employers to more liability. SB 63 passed the Legislature and is awaiting Governor Jerry Brown’s review. CLFP is seeking a veto.

CLFP was effective in stopping SB 772 (Leyva), which exempts Cal/OSHA from Standardized Regulatory Impact Assessment (SRIA), because proponents believe the process is duplicative and hinders workplace safety. Currently, California law requires state agencies, such as Cal/OSHA, to conduct an 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. Due to strong opposition, the bill stalled at the end of the legislative session.

Assembly Bill 450 by Assembly Member Chui prohibits an employer from providing a federal immigration enforcement agent access to a worksite without a properly executed warrant, with limited exceptions. Unless mandated under federal law, AB 450 also prohibits employers from voluntarily consenting to an immigration enforcement agent to access, review or obtain employee records without a subpoena or court order, with limited exceptions. CLFP and many other business and agricultural groups moved from opposition to "no position" once the bill author removed punitive civil liability language against employers from the bill language and also removed the provision requiring the employer to notify the Labor Commission of a federal immigration worksite enforcement action, among other amendments. The bill was approved by the Legislature and is pending Governor Brown’s consideration.

CLFP is strongly opposed to AB 1209 (Gonzalez-Fletcher) which 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. The bill then requires the information be publicly posted onto a website. The purpose of this measure is to publicly shame employers for wage disparities. AB 1209 passed the Legislature and is awaiting Governor Brown’s consideration. CLFP is seeking a veto.

CLFP took the lead on negotiating amendments on two water conservation measures including SB 606 (Skinner) and AB 1668 (Friedman). The amendments ensure that industrial process water will not be subject to volumetric reduction targets or performance measures. This was a big win for CLFP and all industrial water users. CLFP effectively argued that process water is essential to all aspects of manufacturing processes, including maintaining product quality and safety. Efforts to limit the use of process water will adversely impact California’s economy by reducing productivity as well as jeopardizing the health and safety of products. Both bills were held in the legislature and will be taken up in 2018.

CLFP supported AB 313 (Gray), which 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 a recommendation to the board, which could accept, reject or modify recommendations. AB 313 was approved by the Legislature and is awaiting Governor Brown’s review. CLFP is seeking the Governor’s signature.

Senate Bill 252 (Dodd) adds new requirements onto well applicants located in critically over drafted basins. After extensive lobbying by a coalition of ag groups, the author accepted amendments to SB 252 and removed the following provisions: 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 252 passed the Legislature and is pending Governor Brown’s consideration.

Green House Reduction Fund (GGRF) Expenditures
On September 16, Governor Brown signed legislation into law directing approximately $1.5 billion in expenditures generated from Cap-and-Trade auction revenues, including funding for agriculture and food processors, in addition to other budget spending. The legislation, AB 109 and AB 134, allocates the incentives from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to the agricultural sector, including $60 million through the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission for food processors to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


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