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Governor Signs CLFP Opposed Bills

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Gov. Brown had until September 30, 2014, to sign or veto bills that were sent to him by the Legislature. While CLFP was successful in keeping several onerous bills off the Governorís desk by defeating them in the Legislature, some key measures were passed and signed into law.

Groundwater Management: As anticipated, the Governor signed Senate Bill 1168 (Pavley), Senate Bill 1319 (Pavley) and Assembly Bill 1739 (Dickinson), which set up a regulatory regime for groundwater management. In brief, these bills require the adoption of a "groundwater sustainability plan" (GSP) for all high or medium priority basins. These bills allow any local agency or combination of agencies to establish a groundwater sustainability agency (GSA) for the purpose of developing and implementing a GSP.

CLFP was actively engaged in opposing these measures. While CLFP agrees that sound groundwater management by local entities to maintain basin use within safe yields is a worthy, compelling goal, this legislation goes substantially beyond that goal and severely threatens existing water rights.

Labor: Two CLFP-opposed labor bills that will increase labor costs and liability exposure landed on the Governorís desk and were signed. These measures include:

  • Assembly Bill 1522 (Gonzalez), which requires all employers to provide all employees in California with paid sick leave and threatens employers with statutory penalties. Assembly Bill 1522 was sponsored by two prominent labor groups, the Service Employees International Union and the California Labor Federation.
  • Assembly Bill 1897 (Hernandez), which mandates that any client employer that obtains or is provided workers for labor or services from a labor contractor, shall be liable for the (1) payment of wages of the contractorís employees; (2) all contributions, including tax contributions of the contractor and its employees; (3) the contractorís workerís compensation coverage; and (4) occupational health and safety requirements. AB 1897 imposes liability upon a third-party individual or business for the wage and hour obligations of another employer even though there is absolutely no evidence or proof that the third party exerted any control over the working conditions of the contractorís employees. CLFP was actively engaged in a coalition of business organizations in opposing this measure.

A complete CLFP Legislative Report for the 2014 Legislative Session can be accessed here.

Article written by Trudi Hughes, Government Affairs Director, California League of Food Processors

 

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