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Brown Signs 977 Bills from 2017 Legislative Session

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Governor Jerry Brown had until October 15 to sign or veto legislation from California’s 2017 legislative session. In total, 977 bills passed the Legislature and reached the governor’s desk. Overall, he signed 859 measures and vetoed 118 bills. Please see below for an overview of the measures impacting the food processing industry in California and the governor’s actions on those bills. Position indicates CLFP’s support or opposition of the measures. CLFP was actively engaged in many critical policy issues during the end of the legislative session. These issues included energy, federal regulations, labor, water and greenhouse gas reduction fund expenditures.

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 $60 million in funding for food processors.
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.

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. CLFP 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.

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.

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 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 subjects employers to more liability.

WaterAB 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 5 (De Leon)     Position: No position     Status: Signed into law
Four 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 implementation.

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 623 (Monning)     Position: NEUTRAL     Status: Two-year bill
Proposes a tax on water use in California to fund 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.

The following are opposed bills that stalled in 2017 and could be considered again in 2018.

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. The 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.

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.
By Trudi Hughes, CLFP Government Affairs Director 

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