April 2, 2020
YOUR SOURCE FOR CAWG AND INDUSTRY NEWS. FOR CAWG MEMBERS ONLY.
COVID-19 NEWS
Updated Resource Page on CAWG Website
We understand that you may be inundated with emails and news, but we feel it is important to provide you with timely updates and helpful information related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our website resource page includes all of our COVID-19 news alerts, as well as numerous links for state, federal and ag industry resources.
Hotline and Webinar:
COVID-19 / Employment and Labor Law
Hotline: CAWG and Fisher Phillips, LLP have partnered to offer an employment and labor law hotline, which allows current CAWG grower members the opportunity to call upon labor and employment law experts to clarify or answer your legal questions. 


Webinar: Presenters provided up-to-date information on federal and state employment and labor law-related items.
Gov. Newsom Unveils New Resources to Provide Relief to Small Business, Workers
  • April 2: Gov. Newsom announced the launch of OnwardCA, a one-stop resource to connect displaced California workers with more than 70,000 job opportunities in critical industries. Employers can post jobs on this website.

  • April 2: Newsom announced that the state is allocating $50 million in loan guarantees for small businesses that may not be eligible for federal relief.

  • March 30: Newsom signed an executive order that will provide tax, regulatory and licensing extensions for businesses. It allows the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) to offer a 90-day extension for tax returns and tax payments for all businesses filing a return for less than $1 million in taxes. Small businesses will now have until July 31, 2020 to file their first quarter returns. Additionally, all businesses will have an extra 60 days to file claims for refund from CDTFA or to appeal a CDTFA decision to the Office of Tax Appeals. >CDTFA PRESS RELEASE
Government Relations Report
COUNTY AUTHORITY
The rules, regulations and laws relative to the COVID-19 pandemic are changing rapidly. This is happening at national, state and local levels.
 
Many counties are adopting local  requirements  that overlay state requirements. This is frustrating and leaves many folks wondering, “Why does my county have the authority to adopt orders that are more stringent than the governor’s order?”
 
In answering that question, keep in mind that under California law, every county is viewed as a “ political subdivision of the state .” All 58 counties have great flexibility in local governance because the counties are given the power and authority to provide for the health and welfare of its residents. This authority is limited only by the requirement that local laws cannot conflict with state laws.
 
This means that boards of supervisors and county health directors both have the authority to adopt COVID-19 orders to the extent they are not in conflict with the statewide order. For example, the  governor’s stay at home order  allows essential businesses to continue to stay open, but the counties can also place parameters around how those businesses must operate. 
 
Consequently, it is important for all of us to keep up with what’s happening in our county, and to remember that local rules are  subject to change
 
 
-Michael Miiller / michael@cawg.org / 916-379-8995
President Signs Coronavirus Relief Bill
President Trump on March 27 signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act ( H.R. 748 ), which provides emergency assistance and health care response for individuals, families and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

From Cornerstone Government Affairs:
For agriculture, the bill provides $9.5 billion to support farmers who are experiencing financial losses due to the coronavirus crisis, $14 billion through the Commodity Credit Corporation, $3 million to support an increase in capacity to help USDA's Farm Service Agency meet increased demands from farmers, and eligibility for farmers and agricultural and rural businesses to receive up to $10 million in small business interruption loans. The bill also includes millions of dollars for other USDA agencies.

> SENATE MAJORITY SUMMARY (see ag section)
> SENATE MINORITY SUMMARY (see ag section)
CA Congressman Wants Ag Rep Appointed to Coronavirus Task Force
Rep. Josh Harder (D-Turlock) wants agriculture – part of the 16 critical infrastructure sectors – to be represented on the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Harder wrote in a March 27 letter to Vice President Mike Pence that the ag representative would focus “exclusively on monitoring and mitigating the impacts of coronavirus on farmers and developing policy solutions to those challenges.”
Podcast: Wine Marketing in a Pandemic - Featuring Rob McMillan
The Vineyard Team’s April 2 podcast features Rob McMillan, executive vice president and founder of Silicon Valley Bank. He shares his perspective on the wine industry navigating COVID-19: market corrections, production, connecting with consumers, and new marketing techniques. 

> PODCAST  (34 minutes)
New Resources for Ag Industry
Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety
COVID-19 web page has FAQs and downloadable resources, including a COVID-19 ag worksite checklist .

USDA
COVID-19 web page with FAQs on 16 categories (from ag research to trade to service centers).

American Farm Bureau Federation

Wine Institute


Related Articles

Jeff Bitter, Aaron Lange, Glenn Proctor and Bill Newlands (CAWG members) are interviewed.
Ag Alert, April 1

Brad Goehring (CAWG member) is interviewed.
Ag Alert, April 1
 
Michael Miiller (CAWG director of government relations) is interviewed.
MultiBrief, March 30

Q&A with sixth-generation California farmer Cannon Michael about the impact of COVID-19 on California agriculture and workers.
Public Policy Institute of California, March 30

Steve Heringer (CAWG member) is interviewed.
Associated Press, March 29

Modesto Bee, March 28

OTHER NEWS ITEMS
USMCA Start Date Delayed
News outlets are reporting that the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement (USMCA) start date will be pushed back at least a month from the proposed June 1 date because the three countries did not meet a requirement this week. The trade deal cannot enter into force until the first day of the third month following the last notification from the three countries they have met their obligations, according to Progressive Farmer and Politico. The earliest it could start now is July 1.

Nearly 20 Republican and Democrat members of the Senate Finance Committee had asked for the delay in a March 30 letter to the U.S Trade Representative . They wrote, “A long experience of incomplete and inadequate implementation by trade agreement partners has taught us that the U.S. must do this work on the front end to ensure that the words on paper deliver genuine benefits to Americans, including our farmers, workers, and businesses.” The senators also cited the COVID-19 pandemic as a significant reason to push back the start date.
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WATER & WEATHER
Fourth Snow Survey: March Precipitation Not Enough to Offset Dry Winter
The Department of Water Resources (DWR) yesterday conducted its fourth manual snow survey in the Sierra Nevada east of Sacramento. The survey recorded a snow depth of 43.5 inches and a snow water equivalent of 16.5 inches, which is 66 percent of the April average at this location. The statewide snow water equivalent is 15.2 inches, or 53 percent of the April average. DWR’s Chris Orrock told KCRA that last year was the state’s fifth best snowpack and this year is the 11th worst.

As of April 1, the historical averages for California’s 12 major reservoirs range from 76 percent (Folsom) to 125 percent (Melones).

 

ARTICLES OF INTEREST
VINEYARDS & WINE

California Ag Today, April 2

UCCE’s Dr. Kaan Kurtural leverages artificial intelligence to enable vineyard managers to optimize irrigation without huge capital investments.
Capital Press, March 30

March issue

The vineyard deploys a daily bird-based battalion to pluck snails and insects off the vines.
Smithsonian Magazine, March 23

CALENDAR
MAY
12 / CAWG Annual Meeting Roadshow #1, Buellton - CANCELLED
13 / CAWG Annual Meeting Roadshow #2, Paso Robles - CANCELLED
13 / CAWG Regional & Board of Directors dinner, Paso Robles - CANCELLED
14 / CAWG Board of Directors meeting - LOCATION AND FORMAT TBD

JUNE
17 / CAWG Annual Meeting Roadshow #3, Santa Rosa - TBD
17 / CAWG Annual Meeting Roadshow #4, Napa - TBD
23 / CAWG Foundation Golf Tournament , Woodbridge Golf & Country Club - TBD
24 / CAWG Annual Meeting Roadshow #5, Lodi - TBD

JULY
20 / CAWG Regional & Board of Directors dinner, Santa Rosa
21 / CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Santa Rosa