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New Bills Introduced

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A total of 2,189 bills were introduced by California lawmakers by the Friday, February 22, 2013 bill introduction deadline. The CLFP staff is in the process of reviewing these new bills and identifying those that will have an impact on the food processing industry. A few of the issues that have been identified thus far include some onerous new tax policies, reforms to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and Proposition 65.

With supermajorities in both houses, the Democrats have not held back in introducing new tax policy proposals. Two bills were introduced that seek to erode the protections of Proposition 13 by creating a split roll property tax, which would require businesses to pay property taxes at a higher rate than homeowners. There were also several proposals introduced to lower the vote threshold on local parcel taxes from two-thirds to a simple majority or 55 percent. A proposal to tax sweetened beverages in California was also introduced to address obesity.

Both Republicans and Democrats have introduced bills to reform CEQA. The Governor and Democrat leadership have expressed their intent this Legislative Session to make CEQA more streamlined and to curb frivolous lawsuits that lead to significant project delays. The champion of these reforms was Senator Rubio (D-Bakersfield) who was appointed as Chair of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. However, Senator Rubio has recently resigned from the Senate to take a job in the private sector. His departure has raised concerns in the business community about the likelihood of real meaningful reform without his leadership on the issue.

There is also an interest by the Legislature to reform Proposition 65, which requires the State to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects and requires businesses to notify consumers if their products contain any of these listed chemicals. The bills seek to address, among other things, the lawsuit abuse that the law currently enables. Given that several food processors have been the subject of Proposition 65 litigation, CLFP will be taking a close look at these measures.

These are just a few of the issues pending before the Legislature. The CLFP Legislative Affairs Committee will be meeting to review the new bills and assist staff in setting priorities for engaging on these measures. If you are interested in being a member of the committee, please contact Trudi Hughes or Allyson Rathkamp.

Article contributed by Trudi Hughes, Government Affairs Director


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Crane Pest Control
NMI Industrial Holdings
Tetra Pak Inc.
2485 Natomas Park Dr., Suite 550
Sacramento, CA 95833
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Fax: (916) 640-8156
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