October 24, 2019
Message From CAWG
Our thoughts go out to our CAWG members and families who are affected by the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County. We are thinking about the safety of you and your employees first and foremost, and we hope that your property and structures do not suffer any damage. Please call our office if we can be of any assistance.

As a reminder, a  new regulation for workers near wildfire smoke  went into effect in July of this year. Additional resources on compliance can be found  here .

Select Committees on Wine to Hold Joint Hearing in Lodi
The  Senate Select Committee on California's Wine Industry  and the  Assembly Select Committee on Wine  are conducting a joint hearing in Lodi on Oct. 31. The hearing will focus on the Central Valley wine region. There will also be discussions on emissions caused by wine fermentation and other air quality rules under consideration. Check back for a final agenda .

WHERE: Lodi City Hall (city council chambers), 221 W. Pine Street
WHEN: Oct. 31 / 10 a.m.
Government Relations Report
Any California employer can attest to the costly ripple effect of new and changing labor laws. No new law can ever be viewed in isolation. With that in mind, employers may want to view together two seemingly unrelated bills that take effect in January. 
The first is  AB 5 (Gonzalez, D-San Diego) , which redefines independent contractors in a way that converts many independent contractors into employees. This will apply workers compensation, employment taxes, and wage and hour laws to many traditional independent contractors. 
The second is  AB 51 (Gonzalez)  which is a legislative response to the #MeToo movement, allowing employees to sue employers in court and seek class action suits instead of using arbitration. AB 51 accomplishes this by prohibiting mandatory binding arbitration as a condition of employment.
When read together, these bills may affect binding arbitration clauses in contracts for independent contractors, potentially rendering such clauses useless. This may occur if the independent contractor successfully asserts that she/he was an employee and not an independent contractor. In such case the contract for services  could be viewed as an employment contract  and therefore binding arbitration could be prohibited.
However, AB 51 is probably headed to court because the bill likely conflicts with the  Federal Arbitration Act . Courts around the country have repeatedly ruled that state laws in this arena are unenforceable as they are  preempted under federal law .
Stay tuned and be sure to rely on advice from your HR professionals and legal counsel.

According to an academic  political sorting algorithm , “Gov. Newsom might just be one of the most moderate Democrats in the Capitol.” This algorithm is based only on how the governor acted on legislation, but does not consider his administrative actions relative to dozens of issues, including "waters of the state."
However, most prominent among his  vetoes  was SB 1 (Atkins, D-San Diego), an environmental  “Trump insurance” bill  that would have protected against Trump “rollbacks” of laws for air, water and endangered species.
CalMatters.org also used this algorithm to analyze political polarization during the last 26 years. Not surprisingly, the analysis shows that California has become increasingly ideologically split. The  CalMatters website provides a graph where you can go year by year to see how your assembly member and senator voted along ideological lines. The website also visually displays how the California Senate and Assembly as institutional bodies have ideologically shifted over time.
For example, in 1993, there were roughly 20 Republicans and Democrats who voted moderately for legislation. Only 10 legislators voted a far left liberal or far right conservative ideology. However, in 2019, the moderate ideology number is cut in half, while those on the far left almost tripled with three out of only four moderate legislators being Republican.
The clearest takeaway from the report is that California voters are now electing lawmakers who are leaning further to the left than at any time in recent history. Which begs the question: Did we really need an algorithm to learn this?

-Michael Miiller / michael@cawg.org / 916-379-8995
Reminder: State Minimum Wage Increases $1 on Jan. 1
Effective Jan. 1, 2020, California’s minimum wage will increase from $11 per hour to $12 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees, and from $12 per hour to $13 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees. Due to SB 3, signed into law in 2016, the minimum wage will be adjusted on an annual basis until it reaches $15 per hour in 2022 for large businesses and 2023 for small businesses. 

Trump Administration Unveils New Water Rules for California
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on Oct. 21 released their biological opinions on the new proposed operations for the Central Valley Project and State Water Project. Maven’s Notebook published remarks from agency representatives , which were shared during a media call. The website also compiled numerous statements from water agencies, stakeholders and elected officials . The new rules comes one year after President Trump signed a memorandum of understanding regarding water delivery in California’s Central Valley.

> OVERVIEW (two pages)

WOTUS Repeal Final Rule in Federal Register; Effective Dec. 23
The U.S. EPA and Department of the Army on Oct. 22 published a final rule in the Federal Register to repeal the 2015 Clean Water Rule and restore the regulatory text defining "waters of the United States" that existed prior to 2015. The final rule will go into effect on Dec. 23, 2019. According to news reports, environmental groups are suing EPA over this action.
SWEEP Grant Applications Due Dec. 16; October Workshops Offer Assistance
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now accepting applications for the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP). Several vineyard operations have received grants in the past. SWEEP provides grants up to $100,000 for projects that improve irrigation systems, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save water. Projects can include elements such as soil, plant or weather sensors; micro-irrigation systems; pump retrofits or replacements; renewable energy and variable frequency drives (among others).

Applications are due Dec. 16 at 5 p.m. To assist with the application process, CDFA is hosting free workshops/ webinars: Oct. 28 in Willows, Oct. 29 in Modesto and Oct. 30 in Bakersfield. UC Davis Oakville Station is also offering a workshop on Nov. 14 ( RSVP to Kaan Kurtural at skkurtural@ucdavis.edu with the subject line SWEEP Grant).

This Week is Flood Preparedness Week
Be flood ready! With farmland, homes and other structures at risk, state officials are stressing the importance of having a plan before the rainy season arrives. Every county can be affected by different types of flooding, so it’s crucial to be aware, be prepared and take action. Get tips on the Flood Preparedness Week website.

Providing creative, integrated solutions for our beverage and agricultural industry partners with quality packaging products and supply chain services
CAWG's preferred partner for insurance products for more than 20 years. Group workers' comp, wine industry package, federal crop insurance, employee benefits...and more. For more information: 209-955-2600 or  email .
Providing the very best California crop insurance services.
CALL 916-379-8995.
Celebrate the Leadership of Outgoing CAWG Chair, Directors

Join our fun celebration to recognize outgoing CAWG chair Bill Berryhill and outgoing CAWG directors for their leadership and years of service.
Registration and Housing Now Open!
CAWG members receive up to a $200 discount (per employee) on their Unified registration. Call the CAWG office at 916-379-8995 if you need your discount code.

Sponsorship and Ad Opportunities

Promoting your brand at the 2020 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium is an opportunity you can’t miss! This year’s temporary venue at Cal Expo opens new possibilities for sponsorship and advertising. Think outside the box with your promotions! Deadline for sponsorship is Nov. 29.
>CUSTOMIZED PROMOTION? Contact  Jenny Devine

New Tool for Accurately Predicting Vineyard Crop Yield
Four-minute video > Luca Brillante (Fresno State) shares new research developments and technologies / Oct. 21

Spur Pruning Pinot Noir Vineyards Without Losing Crop Yield
Three-minute video > Patti Skinkis (Oregon State University) talks about spur pruning and her recent studies and vineyard trials / Oct. 17

Kurtural Shares Advancements in Precision Agriculture
Five-minute video > Kaan Kurtural (UC Davis) discusses recent developments and technological advancements in plant and soil sensing equipment that have improved precision viticulture / Oct. 17

Sacramento County: Winegrapes No. 1
Winegrapes are again the top commodity in Sacramento County. The gross production value was $186.8 million, an increase of 9.75 percent over 2017. Harvested acreage was up by more than 1,000 acres, from 35,293 in 2017 to 36,381 in 2018. Tonnage also increased, from 275,285 in 2017 to 320,153 in 2018.

Santa Rosa Press Democrat

More than 80 winegrowers and 30 wineries have operations there.
Weather Channel, Oct. 24

Wineries using backup generators.
Wine Business, Oct. 24
UCCE-Ventura County fruit pathologist Annemiek Schilder offers advice for grape growers.
Good Fruit Grower, Oct. 22

FPS News, Oct. 21

CBS This Morning aired a three-minute story about the cabernet sauvignon/climate-smart trial conducted by UCCE, Beckstoffer Vineyards and Duarte Nursery.
CBS News, Oct. 21

Article includes a statement from McGuire about SB 449, a bill endorsed by CAWG.
Ukiah Daily Journal, Oct. 18 
Plan was recently adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board. Michael Miiller also wrote about this in the Oct. 17 eNews.
Ag Alert, Oct. 23

SB 224 creates a new category for grand theft of agricultural property.
Bakersfield Californian, Oct. 21

Preparing the Vineyard for Winter (Webinar)
Nov. 4 / 2 - 3:30 p.m.

Tree & Vine Expo - Turlock  
Nov. 12 / 7 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Sonoma Grape Expo - Cloverdale
Nov. 15 / 7 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Grape, Nut & Tree Fruit Expo - Fresno
Nov. 19 / 7 a.m. - 2 p.m.

November 6
CAWG PAC event / Casino Night at Galletto Ristorante , Modesto

November 7

November 7