Back in May, a legislative deadline required all bills to be passed out of their house of origin.  Any bill that did not make it out either became a two-year bill or was de-facto “killed”. SB 458 by Senator Durazo was one bill that died as a result of being held on Senate Appropriations suspense file, meaning the committee did not act.

SB 458, The Protect Children from the Brain-Damaging Chlorpyrifos Act of 2019, would have banned the use of any pesticide that contains the active ingredient chlorpyrifos in California as of January 1, 2021.

But thanks to the infamous “gut and amend” loophole, SB 458 is revived as SB 86, which is slated to be heard next week by the Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials.  If the bill successfully makes it out of the Assembly, it will go back to the Senate for concurrence.

Following the Administration’s announcement in May that CalEPA has initiated the regulatory process to cancel Chlorpyrifos, SB 458 became somewhat a moot point except for the fact that the cancellation process will take longer than the bill’s deadline of January 1, 2021. The author and anti-pesticide groups argue that the Administration’s actions do not go far enough, fast enough.  CCM is opposed to SB 86.

Also brought back for a second go-around is a bill that would, until January 1, 2025, prohibit a city, county, charter city, city and county, or a special district from using any pesticide that contains the active ingredient glyphosate. That bill is now AB 916 by Assembly Member Muratsuchi. We are concerned that “special district” may include pest control districts, which would have a direct impact on the agricultural sector.  We are optimistic, however, that AB 916 was referred to the Senate Agriculture Committee.  CCM is opposed to AB 916.

Continue reading below for a comprehensive summary of the bills CCM is tracking:

SB 1 (Atkins). California Environmental, Public Health, and Workers Defense Act of 2019. Opposed.

This bill would require specified state boards to determine that if the federal standards for air, water, endangered and threatened species is changed to be less stringent than the baseline federal standards as of January 19, 2017 and, if so, consider whether it should adopt the baseline federal standards as a measure in order to maintain the state’s protections to be at least as stringent as the baseline federal standards.

Our lobbyists are meeting with the Speaker soon to discuss proposed amendments. Previous meetings have been with staff.  In Committee on 6/19, the Pro Tem made comments to suggest that she will work with stakeholders to address concerns relating to ESA and the implications for the voluntary settlement agreements and the biological opinions.

Status: 6/19/19 Assembly Environmental Safety & Toxic Materials – Pass, re-referred to Natural Resources.

SB 559 (Hurtado) Funding for Friant-Kern Canal. Support.

SB 559 was amended to make the $400,000 million appropriation from the General Fund contingent upon an appropriation in the Budget Act.

SB 559 continues to move through the legislative process, however, the budget does not include funding for Friant. Without an appropriation in the budget, the bill does not do anything other than provide an opportunity to talk about the issue on record.  Senator Hurtado has indicated she plans to present the bill in committee.  Houtby advised that the original intent by Friant was to negotiate a deal in the August trailer bill.  Houtby will reach out to Friant’s government relations director regarding next steps.

SB 468 (Jackson). Taxation: tax expenditures: California Tax Expenditure Review Board. Opposed unless amended.

This bill would establish in state government the California Tax Expenditure Review Board as an independent advisory body to comprehensively assess major tax expenditures, as defined, and make recommendations to the Legislature. The bill would require the board to hold annual open and public meetings for the purposes of considering information provided by the public to determine the schedule for a comprehensive assessment of major tax expenditures to be conducted by the Legislative Analyst’s Office.

Under this bill, the sales tax exemption on agricultural implements of husbandry, among other major tax expenditures, would be subject to a review by a new review board and the Legislative Analyst Office, potentially inviting legislative action to alter or cancel the exemption.

CCM is part of a coalition that has offered amendments that any tax expenditure study incorporates “multipliers” or the positive effects on the economy. Additionally, we propose that the assessments also examine California’s policies in the context of competitiveness with other areas of the country. Incorporating these factors into the study, we argue, would result in a more accurate and comprehensive assessment of state revenue impacts which is the stated goal of the bill. We are pleased to see that this bill has been referred to Assembly Revenue and Taxation and are optimistic that the committee will be favorable to the proposed amendments.

Status: Assembly Revenue and Taxation

Labor Bills

AB 170 (Gonzalez). Employment:  sexual harassment: liability. Opposed.

Provides that a client employer shall share with a labor contractor all civil legal responsibility and civil liability for harassment, as defined by FEHA to include sexual harassment, gender harassment, and harassment based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, for all workers supplied by the labor contractor.

Status:  6/19/19 Senate Committee on Labor – Pass and re-referred to Judiciary.  Amended to include “motion picture payroll services and “employee leasing arrangement”

AB 171 (Gonzalez). Employment: sexual harassment.  Opposed.

Existing law prohibits an employer from discharging or in any manner discriminating or retaliating against an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking for taking time off work to obtain specified relief if the victim provides notice to the employer of the status or the employer has actual knowledge of the status. Existing law authorizes an employee to file a complaint with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement for a violation of these prohibitions within one year from the date of occurrence of the violation.  This bill would expand the scope of these provisions by defining “employer” for purposes of these provisions to mean any person employing another under any appointment or contract of hire and to include the state, political subdivisions of the state, and municipalities. 

 

Status:  5/16/19 Assembly Appropriations – Pass.