The California Legislature closed out the legislative year late last Friday. Governor Brown has until September 30th to sign or veto the bills that are now on his desk. Provided below is a brief list of some of the key bills that Western Growers has been lobbying on behalf of our members.
- AB 1913 (Kalra) – Oppose
Western Growers lead a large coalition of agricultural and general business organizations in opposition to this bill which would have unnecessarily made farm labor contractors in California also subject to California’s new foreign labor contractor regulations when recruiting for and employing H-2A workers. AB 1913 failed passage in the Assembly.
- AB 2751 (Stone) – Oppose
This bill would require the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) to process to final board order all decisions within one year concerning make-whole awards, backpay and other monetary awards to employees, or any board order finding liability for an award. AB 2751 would also provide the ALRB with the ability to force successor contractors through mandatory mediation. This bill was passed and Western Growers is requesting that it be vetoed.
- AB 3080 (Gonzalez Fletcher) – Oppose
This bill would essentially prohibit the use of arbitration agreements in labor and employment claims. Western Growers is part of a large coalition opposed to AB 3080 because it will lead to additional litigation and delays in resolving disputes. The bill was passed and Western Growers is requesting that it be vetoed.
- SB 100 (de Leon) – Oppose
This bill would increase the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) requirement from 50% to 60% by 2030. The bill also creates a policy goal to have all of the state’s retail electricity be generated with 100% clean energy by 2045. This bill was passed and Western Growers is requesting that it be vetoed.
- SB 623 (Monning) – Support
This bill to create the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund and related liability protections for agriculture failed to move this year. The provisions of the bill were later divided into two bills – SB 844 and SB 845 (both by Senator Monning). Those bills also did not gain approval, however the Assembly Speaker has committed to addressing this issue next year. Western Growers staff will continue working over the next four months with our coalition partners and legislative staff to ensure the momentum we have built to solve this problem continues to grow. We look forward to getting this issue across the finish line next year.
- SB 1284 (Jackson) – Oppose
This bill would have required those employers with 100 or more employees and who are required to file an annual Employer Information Report pursuant to federal law to submit an annual pay data report to the Department of Industrial Relations. The pay data would also have to be reported by race, ethnicity and sex. Western Growers joined a large coalition in opposition to this bill regarding the concern that employers would face substantial litigation exposure. SB 1284 failed passage in the Assembly.