CLFP Instrumental in Preventing Bills from Advancing
June 1 was the deadline for the California State Assembly and Senate to pass legislation introduced in their houses. Strong opposition from the California League of Food Producers helped stop several bills from advancing that could have been detrimental to the state's food processing industry. The Legislature will hold policy committee hearings through the month of June.
CLFP in conjunction with a large employer coalition was successful in stopping several labor proposals that would have interfered with an employer’s ability to provide a drug-free workplace (AB 2069 – Bonta), expanded paid sick leave time (AB 2841 - Gonzalez-Fletcher), and significantly increased penalties and liability for employers for wage an hour violations, even if those violations were inadvertent errors (AB 2613 - Reyes).
CLFP was also successful in stopping a burdensome mandate on beverage containers. AB 2779 (Stone) would have driven up the cost of beverages, imposed impractical technology requirements, and reversed a decade-long trend of reducing the amount of plastic in PET bottles by requiring that the cap of any single-use plastic beverage container be tethered to the container.
CLFP will continue to work in opposition to bills that moved to the second house which would have a detrimental impact on the food processing industry. These measures include labor bills that will increase employer liability with regard to sexual harassment claims (SB 1300 – Jackson and AB 1284 – Gonzalez Fletcher), prohibit the use of arbitration as a condition of employment (AB 3080 – Gonzalez-Fletcher), and require employers to submit pay data to the State creating a false impression of wage discrimination (SB 1284 – Jackson).
In addition, CLFP will continue to engage on legislation which will have an impact on energy costs for the industrial sector. Several bills have been introduced in reaction to the California wildfires which could have a detrimental impact on energy rates for the food processing industry. CLFP opposes these measures and will be working with the Governor’s Office and legislative leadership on a comprehensive solution to utility liability issues relating to the wildfires.
CLFP is also supporting a bill that will increase access to existing industrial ratepayer energy efficiency funds. SB 1131 (Hertzberg) addresses fundamental issues that currently impede access to the industrial energy efficiency funds by requiring the California Public Utility Commission to clarify eligibility criteria for industrial and agricultural facilities to participate in energy efficiency programs. The bill also sets new timing requirements and a dispute resolution process that provides greater certainty for applicants.
By Trudi Hughes, CLFP Government Affairs Director