May 14, 2020
CAWG COVID-19 Resources Webpage
Our resources webpage includes all of our COVID-19 news alerts, as well as numerous links for state, federal and ag industry resources. The page also includes a list of all county orders .
Government Relations Report
The California Legislature is very focused on advancing legislation that deals directly with the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, some legislators are characterizing their bills as responses to COVID-19 in an attempt to advance unrelated costly mandates. Below are two examples.
SB 1102 (Monning, D-Carmel)  was originally focused on requiring employers of H-2A workers to provide specific disclosures to employees. This is part of a long-term effort to make it more difficult for growers to employ guest workers. The bill was amended to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic and would now require all employers to disclose to their employees information related to emergency declarations, including those that have nothing to do with COVID-19. Failure to give proper notice may incur substantial penalties. 
AB 3216 (Kalra, D-San Jose)  would provide for unlimited job protected leave for all employees due to COVID-19. The scope of AB 3216 goes well beyond the current crisis. The proposed changes in AB 3216, which have failed to pass previously, include the following:
  • Expands the categories of “family members” under the California Family Rights Act.
  • Expands employer coverage under California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave law.
  • Provides coverage under the Paid Family Leave law even if another family member is ready, willing and able to provide care.
CAWG and several industry groups are opposed to these bills.  We continue to remind lawmakers that many businesses and their owners are casualties of this economic shutdown. Businesses cannot be expected to shoulder the costs of expensive new mandates, at precisely the moment when so many are closed (perhaps forever), employee hours are being cut, and the future remains so uncertain. Efforts to create an employer-financed social safety net may eliminate the very jobs these bills aim to protect.

Gov. Newsom today released a summary of proposed adjustments to the  state budget . The economic shutdown has created a $54 billion budget gap that must be filled. The details are not yet available, but a few key items of interest to growers include:
  • The budget will withdraw $40 million of funding to help local communities' transition to sustainable groundwater use. The Department of Water Resources will allocate $26 million of existing water bond funds to local agencies in critically overdrafted basins.
  • The budget will provide $40.3 million in financial support for state-affiliated fairs, which are expected to lose up to $98 million of revenue this year. 
  • The State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program grants will be reduced by $20 million.
  • The state will borrow up to $4.1 billion from special funds, supported by dedicated fee sources. This may include agricultural accounts.
  • The budget delays the July 1, 2021 alcohol server training requirement to July 1, 2022, to provide relief to licensees (wineries) through the delayed collection of responsible beverage service-associated training fees.
The details of the revised budget should be available later today or tomorrow.   

-Michael Miiller / / (916) 204-0485
County Variance Attestations: State Allows Certain Counties to Move Deeper into Stage 2
If a county wants to move deeper into the second stage of California's four-stage reopening process, its public health officer must submit a  county variance attestation form  to the California Department of Public Health. The form shows the county has met the readiness criteria designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
As of May 14, 20 of California’s 58 counties have been approved by the state after going through the attestation process. They include Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Lassen, Nevada, Mariposa, Placer, Plumas, San Benito, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Tehama, Tuolumne, Yuba and Sutter counties. More counties are expected to follow.
COVID-19: Back-to-Business Checklist
WHEN: May 15 / 9-10 a.m.
PRESENTERS : Collin Cook and Brandon Kahoush with Fisher Phillips, LLP.

As the state moves to stage two of modifying the stay-at-home order, it is now time to assess your operation to ensure that considerations are in place for employees to return and business to be conducted. With these next steps comes a whole new set of labor and employment challenges.
State Treasurer Fiona Ma Publishes Small Business Resource List
The state treasurer’s office has compiled a Google doc of available small business resources – federal, state, local, private and nonprofit. “Our job now in state government is to ensure that all of our state’s residents, small businesses and at-risk enterprises are connected with the wealth of resources available across the public, private and nonprofit sectors...that they can use to weather the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said California Treasurer Fiona Ma in a Sacramento Business Journal editorial.

> GOOGLE DOC (updated frequently)

DMV Offers More Essential Transactions Online
DMV customers now have more opportunities to take care of business without actually visiting a DMV office. The agency is expanding its DMV Virtual Office to create additional digital options for transactions.

DMV last week announced the reopening of 25 field offices for currently scheduled appointments only and a few select services that must be done in person.
Related Resources and Articles
>Payroll Protection Program: FAQs updated May 13

As wineries face disruptions in sales and cash flow, growers seek creative solutions to help their customers and themselves. CAWG members interviewed.
New York Times (Eric Asimov), May 14

Labor advocates commended the order, while employers have expressed their disdain for the order.
Napa Valley Register, May 14

Virtual vineyard and winery tours, dinner-and-wine kits and other ideas drive off-premise sales. Glenn Proctor (CAWG member) interviewed.
Western Farm Press, May 13

Although the county has not yet reached key state benchmarks for reopening, some county leaders are eager to allow wine tasting rooms to reopen more quickly.
Press Democrat, May 12

ABC7 News, May 10

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CDFA Initiates a Formal Rulemaking to Modify Grape Pricing District Boundary
CDFA today  announced  that it will initiate a formal rulemaking to modify the boundary between Grape Pricing Districts 5 and 17 utilized for the Grape Crush Report. In August 2019, CAWG member Suisun Valley Vintners and Growers Association (SVVGA) petitioned CDFA to amend the boundary of Grape Pricing District 5 in eastern Solano County.

UCCE Advisor Helps Raise the Alarm on Spotted Lanternfly
Surendra Dara, UC Cooperative Extension entomology and biologicals advisor, is strongly urging the ag industry and public to look out for the spotted lanternfly to help prevent its migration and establishment in California. According to a UC Agriculture and Natural Resources article published this week , Dara has been proactive with educational efforts a webinar in May that drew 130 participants, a video and journal articles – about the destructive pest and management strategies.
Register for Silicon Valley Bank's State of the Industry - Special Edition (via Zoom)
WHEN: May 21 / 9-10 a.m.
PRESENTERS: Rob McMillan, Silicon Valley Bank; Jeff Bitter, Allied Grape Growers; Danny Brager, Nielsen Beverage Alcohol Practice; Max Heinemann, Nielsen CGA; Amy Hoopes, Wente Family Estates; and Paul Leary, Assemblage Consulting Group.

Center for Wine and Viticulture at Cal Poly Slated to Open in Fall
Construction of the JUSTIN and J. LOHR Center for Wine and Viticulture at Cal Poly began in April 2019 and is scheduled for completion in September 2020. The center – which has raised $19.3 million of its $22 million goal – includes a state-of-the-art 15,600-square-foot winery. Student and commercial wines, as well as faculty and student research wines, will be produced there. The facility also includes a 12,000-square-foot grange hall with labs, lecture areas, offices and events hall.

CA House Dems Ask for Western Water Infrastructure Funding
Rep. TJ Cox (D-Fresno) and six other California representatives are requesting Bureau of Reclamation infrastructure funding in any upcoming COVID-19 infrastructure stimulus package. “As Congress continues working to respond to the economic impacts of the pandemic, we must include funding for Bureau of Reclamation projects, especially those that increase our water storage capacity,” Cox said in a press release. “Upgrading water infrastructure in the Central Valley is overdue and the economic recovery is an opportunity to address these critical needs.”

Oregon Congressman Introduces Act to Prohibit New WOTUS Rule
Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) on May 8 introduced the Clean Water for All Act ( bill text / press release ) to prevent the implementation of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule , which takes effect on June 22. His bill “would require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to start over and instead develop a new regulation to protect rivers, streams, and wetlands, that is based on the best available science…” Several environmental groups are supporting the bill.

Update/COVID-19 Actions in Sacramento

> RECORDING of the webinar 
> PDF of presentation by Michael Miiller, CAWG; Jackson Gualco, The Gualco Group; and Katie Hansen, California Restaurant Association.

Updating Your IIPP

> RECORDING of the webinar 
> PDF of IIPP presentation by Hector Corona and Dan Castillo with Pan American Insurance Services.

R &D Tax Credit - Relief for Growers

> RECORDING  of the webinar
> PDF  of alliantgroup presentation with Reed Showalter and Mike Johanns.

Winegrape Contracts & Enforcement

> RECORDING of the webinar
> PDF of presentation by Dale Stern of Downey Brand.


Even wineries that prefer hand-picked grapes can use mechanization as a tool to improve vineyard management.
Good Fruit Grower, May 13

UCCE advisor Larry Bettiga says pest is spreading leaf roll from site to site.
Western Farm Press, May 13

Written by viticulturist Stan Grant.
Lodi Wine Growers, May 11

Using more mechanization in a vineyard – beyond just mechanical harvesting – can reduce labor costs without negatively affecting grape quality,
Wine Business, May 8

More than 25 research projects were approved – from smoke exposure to nematodes to powdery mildew.
Press release, May 4

17 / CAWG Annual Meeting Roadshow #3, Santa Rosa - CANCELLED
17 / CAWG Annual Meeting Roadshow #4, Napa - CANCELLED
23 / CAWG Foundation Golf Tournament - CANCELLED
24 / CAWG Annual Meeting Roadshow #5, Lodi - CANCELLED

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