November 5, 2020
YOUR SOURCE FOR CAWG AND INDUSTRY NEWS. FOR CAWG MEMBERS ONLY.
VETERANS DAY
Thank You!
Wednesday, Nov. 11 is Veterans Day. We honor and appreciate all veterans, including CAWG members, who have served our country.
NEWS ITEMS
No on Proposition 15 is Leading
As of Nov. 5 at 4:30 p.m., Proposition 15 – the largest property tax hike in state history that would severely impact agriculture – was losing by more than 427,000 votes (51.7 percent no to 48.3 percent yes). However, vote-by-mail, provisional and other ballots are still being tallied. Elections officials have about one month to complete their extensive tallying, auditing and certification work (official canvass).

CAWG is a member of the No on Prop 15 campaign. Campaign spokesperson Michael Bustamante issued a statement on Election Night: “Thanks to what is expected to be near-historic turnout, we anticipated that we would not know the outcome of Prop 15 on Election Night. No on Prop 15 has held a slight lead all night and we continue to be optimistic that growing opposition to Prop 15 seen in recent polls will ultimately drive us to victory when all of the votes are counted.”

Government Relations Report
ELECTION UPDATE – IT’S NOT OVER 
Good news: Election Day is finally behind us. Bad news: The outcome of many races will not be known for a while. Beyond not having a clear winner in the race for the White House, Proposition 15 (see above) and a dozen seats in the California Legislature are up in the air. 
 
Roughly 12 million ballots were counted on Election Day. This represents 54.5 percent of the 22 million California registered voters. Voter turnout is expected to be high; it was 75 percent in 2016. Therefore, one may conservatively anticipate at least 4.5 million ballots will be counted in the weeks ahead.   
 
Initial results indicate that Democrats will likely pick up two to four Republican seats in the state Senate. This means the Senate may have between 31 and 33 Democrats and between seven and nine Republicans. Currently, the Assembly has 62 Democrats, 17 Republicans and one no party preference. The status of a handful of Republican seats remains uncertain, as votes continue to be counted. Currently, it appears Assembly Republicans will pick up one Democrat seat and Assembly Democrats will likely pick up at least one Republican seat.   
 
Stay tuned as election results will no doubt change in the next few weeks as vote-by-mail ballots, provisional ballots and other ballots are tallied. This is why it is not uncommon for a winner on Election Day to ultimately lose in the weeks ahead as remaining ballots are counted. 

COURT RESTRAINS NEWSOM ORDERS 
This week, a Sutter County Superior Court ruling sent Gov. Newsom a concise message: “Gavin Newsom…is enjoined and prohibited from exercising any power under the California Emergency Services Act…which amends, alters, or changes existing statutory law or makes new statutory law or legislative policy. The ruling is in response to Assemblymembers James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) and Keven Kiley (R-Rocklin), who challenged Newsom’s executive orders issued in response to COVID-19.   
 
Historically, in extraordinary situations, California governors have issued executive orders that do the following: declare an emergency, implement actions to address that emergency, and waive enforcement of certain laws during the emergency. In this pandemic, Newsom has issued similar executive orders. But he has also issued orders that expand workers’ compensation coverage, required paid sick leave, changed election laws and created new labor law requirements. 
 
Kiley and Gallagher argued that the governor does not have the authority to unilaterally create new law by executive order as the role of writing new law lies with the Legislature, not in the governor’s office. Judge Sarah Heckman agreed.   

While this “tentative ruling” is highly unlikely to change, it is certain to be appealed. Consequently, it is unclear how this ruling might apply to several executive orders that are still in place.

ELECTION RESULTS


-Michael Miiller / michael@cawg.org / (916) 204-0485
Final Rule: H-2A Wages Will Remain Stable Through 2022
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on Nov. 2 announced a final rule that revises the methodology for determining the annual adverse effect wage rates (AEWRs) in the H-2A program. The new rule improves the consistency of the AEWRs, provides stronger protections for workers, and establishes better stability and predictability for employers in complying with wage obligations. For the vast majority of ag jobs, the rule stabilizes the wage rate for the next two years by using the average hourly wages for field and livestock workers. A USDA press release stated the rule delivers on President Trump's promise to stabilize farm labor costs and reform the H-2A wage rate. “It is a victory for farmers, agricultural workers, and the American people, who rely on a vibrant agricultural sector to supply food for our families,” said John Pallasch with the DOL.


Podcast: Current Status of UCCE – Retirements and Recruitment
The Vineyard Team’s Nov. 5 podcast features four winegrape industry experts. Summary: Today, 40% of the California wine industry does not have a farm advisor. Larry Bettiga (UCCE Monterey County) discusses how a reduction in staff looks from the perspective of a farm advisor. Chris Storm (Vino Farms) covers his experience with farm advisors and their importance to the industry to assist smaller growers and facilitate research. Dr. Wendy Powers (UC Agriculture and Natural Resources) and Cliff Ohmart facilitate a brainstorming session on how the industry can fill the void through PCAs, consultants and organizations.

>PODCAST (25 minutes)
Pesticide Residues Report: Nearly 100 Percent Below EPA Safety Levels
In USDA-Agricultural Marketing Service’s 2019 Pesticide Data Program (PDP) annual summary, nearly 99 percent of commodity samples tested had pesticide residue levels well below EPA-established tolerances and 42.5 percent of samples had no detectable pesticide residues. The PDP tests a wide variety of domestic and imported foods; of the 9,697 samples collected in 2019 for the report, 87 percent were fresh and processed fruit and vegetables. Of all samples collected and analyzed, approximately 21.7 percent (2,106 of 9,697) were grown, packed and/or distributed in or from California. 


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WILDFIRES
PBS Show Highlights Impact of Wildfires on CA Winegrapes
A recent episode of the PBS show “Market-to-Market” focuses on 2020 natural disasters that caused significant damage to crops in several states, including California. CDFA Secretary Karen Ross and Napa Valley Farm Bureau CEO Ryan Klobas commented on the 2020 wildfires, smoke exposure, unpicked grapes, growers not being able to sell their grapes, and crop insurance.

>VIDEO (CA segment begins at 4:00 mark)


Other News

California Department of Insurance, Nov. 5

COVID-19
Resources and Articles
Cal/OSHA Advisory Committee Meeting
Topics include COVID-19 response and updates.
WHEN: Nov. 12 / 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


California Department of Public Health: COVID-19 statistics and resources (updated daily)

California’s tier assignments: Tier map – As of Nov. 4, nine counties are in yellow (minimal), 19 in orange (moderate), 20 in red (substantial) and 10 in purple (widespread).    

Wine Business, Nov. 5

Data and tier assignments are updated every Tuesday.
CAWG WEBINAR
2021 Changes in Employment Law

WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 3 / 10-11 a.m.
PRESENTER: Brandon Kahoush and Collin Cook with Fisher & Phillips, LLP and CAWG Director of Government Relations Michael Miiller.
ABOUT: A roundup of state labor legislation, guidelines and regulations that recently took effect or will take effect in January 2021. Learn how these changes may apply to your operation and how best to comply with these new labor laws. Topics: Ag overtime rules, minimum wage, COVID-19 (IIPP, reporting requirements, workers’ comp, supplemental paid sick leave), wildfire workplace requirements, family leave changes, pay data reporting, no rehire agreements and arbitration agreements.


UNIFIED
Opened Nov. 3! CAWG member discount codes have been emailed and mailed. Please call the office if you did not receive your code. 

Unified is offering various sponsorship and advertising opportunities with its new virtual conference environment.

INDUSTRY EVENTS
CAWG Staff, Members to Speak at Malcolm Media Virtual Expos


Nov. 6 / Central Coast Grape Expo
  • CAWG member employees presenting: Jeff Bitter (AGG) and Todd Azevedo (Ciatti Company) / “State of the Central Coast Grape Industry” / 12:45 to 1:45 p.m.

Nov. 10-11 / Tree & Vine Expo
  • CAWG staff and member employees presenting on Nov. 11: Johnny Leonardo (Ciatti Company) / “State of the Winegrape Industry” / 12:45 to 1:15 p.m. Michael Miiller (CAWG) / “Ag Legislative Update” / 1:15-1:45 p.m.

Nov. 12-13 / Grape, Nut & Tree Expo
  • CAWG member employee presenting on Nov. 13: Jeff Bitter / “State of the Wine & Concentrate Grape Industry” / 12:15 to 12:45 p.m.

CALENDAR
DECEMBER

3 / CAWG webinar: 2021 Changes in Employment Law