Your source for CAWG and industry news
October 25 , 2018

November 7
CAWG PAC reception at Bien Nacido, Santa Maria

November 8
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Buellton

January 29-31
Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, Sacramento

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Government Relations Report
As Democrats challenge incumbent Congressional Republicans in traditionally Republican areas around the state, it is not surprising that those Democrats are leaning to the right. However, this is costing them the backing of some labor unions. The primary issue with the unions is where the candidates stand on Proposition 6.  
Proposition 6 would repeal the 12-cent per gallon gas tax approved by the California Legislature last year. Labor unions and construction companies have so far contributed $42.7 million to defeat the initiative.  
Democrat Katie Porter is challenging Orange County Republican Mimi Walters and Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar is challenging San Diego Republican Duncan Hunter. Both Porter and Campa-Najjar have lost the endorsement of the Laborers' International Union of North America because both are supporting Proposition 6.
In northern suburban Los Angeles County, a hotly contested Congressional race (Katie Hill - D vs. Steve Knight - R) overlaps with a hotly contested California Assembly race (Christy Smith - D vs. Dante Acosta - R). Knight and Acosta are incumbents and supporting Proposition 6. Hill and Smith are endorsed by labor unions and are taking a cautious "let the voters decide" stance. 
These are a few examples of how the gas tax is having a rippling effect in several races.

Voters in November will be asked to approve or reject Proposition 3, an $8.9 billion water bond. Support for the bond includes ag groups, environmental groups, John Cox (candidate for governor), labor groups, water districts, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, state Senate leader Toni Atkins, Bakersfield Californian, Fresno Bee and others. 
The opposition includes coastal newspapers, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, League of Women Voters, Sierra Club, Friends of the River and other environmental groups.   
Supporters like Proposition 3 because it focuses spending on high priority water projects. Opponents believe the bond lacks oversight. The most interesting aspect of Proposition 3 is that it is heavily focused on water for Central Valley ag.
Proposition 3 was put together by Jerry Meral, a veteran of California water politics. He states that he drafted the water bond based on the needs of a cross section of interests. Many voters remain skeptical, as past water bonds promised funding for surface storage, but that funding has never been realized. 
Nonetheless, Proposition 3 is polling at 58 percent YES and 42 percent NO. 

-- Michael Miiller / / 916-379-8995 

CAWG Webinar: Employment Law Changes Heading Into 2019
CAWG logo no words
SAVE THE DATE: Nov. 13 / 10 a.m. 

ABOUT: An hourlong webinar discussing a roundup of employment law-related legislation that will take effect January 2019. Learn how this legislation will affect your operation and how best to prepare for complying with new laws. 

PRESENTERS: Benjamin Ebbink, Of Counsel with Fisher & Phillips, LLP. CAWG Director of Government Relations Michael Miiller will also be on the webinar to answer any CAWG-specific questions. 

-New sexual harassment laws
-Fair employment and housing 
-Lactation accommodation
-Salary history inquiries
-Paid family leave uses
-Copy of payroll records
-Port trucking joint liability

Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention in Indoor Places of Employment - Revised Draft Standard
After reviewing the comments received on the draft standard posted on May 16, additional revisions have been made. Those who wish to submit comments on the revised draft must do so by Thursday, Nov. 16 to feel free to share your comments or concerns with  Michael Miiller  as well. 
CAWG has commented on previous drafts and is participating in working groups. This new draft seems to be an improvement over past drafts. However, we are still reviewing. For example, it is not clear under the proposed draft whether the cab of a tractor would be considered "indoors."


Reminder: State Minimum Wage Increase and Overtime Law Take Effect on Jan. 1, 2019
Effective Jan. 1, 2019, California's  minimum wage will increase from $10.50 per hour to $11 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees, and from $11 per hour to $12 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. 
Also taking effect on Jan. 1 is the new overtime law: one-and-a-half times that employee's regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 9 1/2 hours in any workday or over 55 hours in any workweek.

Increase in H-2A Workers; Data Posted for FY2018
Nearly 242,800 temporary workers were hired in FY2018 through the H-2A visa program, an increase of more than 21 percent over the previous year, according to statistics released by the Labor Department's Office of Foreign Labor Certification on Sept. 30. California was ranked No. 5 on the list of states hiring H2-A workers, with 18,908. In FY2017, that number was 15,232. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, California has experienced a growth rate of 213 percent in H-2A hires between 2014 and 2018.
>FY2018 STATISTICS (one-page summary)  

USMCA Fact Sheet for California
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has issued one-page state fact sheets for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement, highlighting key provisions and export data. For California , agricultural products were No. 3 on the list of top exports to Canada and Mexico, valued at $3.1 billion. >FACT SHEET

Video: CAWG Grower of the Year Tribute
Thank you to American Vineyard Magazine and California AgNet, which recently posted a seven-minute video of the Grower of the Year Award presentation and tribute to Steve Schafer. The ceremony was held at the CAWG Summer Conference in Napa.

More Water to California Farmers: President Signs Memorandum on Western Water Supply
A memorandum signed by President Trump on Oct. 19 aims to deliver more water to farmers in California's Central Valley. Among the provisions: reduce regulatory burdens that harm reliable water access in the West, increase water reliability for farmers in the West, and ensure expedited environmental reviews for projects while protecting endangered species. 

Several California Republican Congressional representatives said in a joint statement that it will be a huge relief for farmers and communities. The action "will build on the success of the WIIN Act, cut through bureaucratic roadblocks, address Sacramento's radical water grab, and increase the water supply to farms and communities across the state." In remarks at the signing ceremony, Trump and the representatives mentioned the Central Valley Project, California State Water Project and the state water grab.

Be Flood Ready, Especially in Wildfire-Burned Areas
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Are you prepared for the rainy season? This week is  Flood Preparedness Week  -- and state officials are stressing the importance of having a plan before the rainstorms arrive. Many areas throughout the state, particularly where wildfires occurred, will be vulnerable to flooding and debris/mudflows. Following are helpful tips for your home and business:
>BE AWARE: Know if your home/business is downslope of an area affected by wildfires, follow weather forecasts, sign up for emergency alerts and listen to local authorities.
>BE PREPARED: Always have an emergency evacuation kit ready, be prepared to evacuate early, have a household/business inventory with copies of critical documents, and have a plan for where you will go in an emergency and what to do with your pets.
>TAKE ACTION: Evacuate immediately when advised to. Also, homeowners' insurance does not cover damage due to flooding, so talk to your agent about purchasing flood insurance.

>FLOOD AFTER FIRE: KNOW YOUR RISK (DWR and Office of Emergency Services)


CAWG and CAWG members featured in article. The workshop was hosted by LangeTwins Family Winery & Vineyards.
Wine Business, Oct. 23
A story on smoke taint and ongoing research featuring Dr. Anita Oberholster, viticulture and enology extension specialist at UC Davis, and CAWG President John Aguirre.
KCRA, Oct. 18 
Award winners were recognized for their efforts in advancing the nation's voluntary green power market.
EPA, Oct. 10
The road map - last updated five years ago - provides guidance on the adoption of effective, economical and safe IPM practices, and on the development of new practices.
USDA, Oct. 24

Nov. 16 Deadline for the 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program
Growers who were affected by the 2017 wildfires have until Nov. 16 to apply for financial aid from USDA Farm Service Agency's (FSA)  Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP). Pan American provided the following information in the July 19 issue of eNews:
--Application must be completed at your county FSA office; no online applications are available.
--Growers who sign up and are approved must purchase crop insurance or NAP coverage for the next two consecutive crop years.
--Growers with existing crop insurance or NAP coverage will receive higher payments. Growers with no coverage will still be eligible to receive program assistance. 
--There are two payment limitations:
>$125,000 for growers whose adjusted gross income derived from farming is under 75 percent.
>$900,000 for growers whose adjusted gross income derived from farming is 75 percent or greater. To qualify for anything above $125,000, the farming entity must supply a certification from a CPA or attorney.

Help Support the CAWG PAC! Join Us on Nov. 7
Click on image to see full flyer / registration form.

Thank you to The Thornhill Companies and Coastal Vineyard Care for serving as event hosts.  Please call the CAWG office if you are interested in being a sponsor.

_ _ _

Your CAWG membership entitles you to up to a $200 discount per registrant (through Jan. 22). The discount may be used for all employees of your company. Call the CAWG office at 916-379-8995 if you need your discount code. 

Tree & Vine Expo ^
WHEN: Nov. 6 / 7 a.m. - 2 p.m.
WHERE: Stanislaus County Fairgrounds, Turlock

Central Coast Grape Expo
WHEN: Nov. 9 / 7 a.m. - 2 p.m.
WHERE: Mid-State Fairgrounds,  Paso  Robles

Grape, Nut & Tree Expo
WHEN: Nov. 13 / 7 a.m. - 2 p.m.
WHERE: Big Fresno Fairgrounds

UCCE Seminar: Current Issues in Vineyard Health   

WHEN: Nov. 29 / 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
WHERE: UC Davis Conference Center, 550 Alumni Lane, Davis
COST: $210 (includes materials and lunch)   

California Farm Labor Contractor Association's 8th Annual Ag Labor Issues Forum
WHEN: Nov. 14-15
WHERE: Tachi Palace and Conference Center, Lemoore