May 28, 2020
YOUR SOURCE FOR CAWG AND INDUSTRY NEWS. FOR CAWG MEMBERS ONLY.
COVID-19 NEWS
CAWG COVID-19 Resources Webpage
Visit our resources webpage for all of our COVID-19 news alerts; state, federal and ag industry resources; webinar recordings; county orders and more.
Government Relations Report
LEGISLATURE RESISTS GOVERNOR’S PROPOSED BUDGET CUTS
In an unusual legislative procedure, the entire California Assembly met as a committee this week to hear testimony from the  director of the California Department of Finance  on the  governor’s proposed budget . Newsom’s budget proposes to bridge a $54.3 billion projected shortfall through July 2021 with steep spending cuts and deferred payments to public school districts. A representative from the nonpartisan  Legislative Analyst’s Office  also testified, predicting budget deficits through at least 2024.
 
For the next five hours,  assemblymembers slammed the proposed budget . They criticized cuts in programs, tax increases, budget priorities and much more, but very few offered alternative solutions. Many legislators are holding out hope for billions in federal assistance.
 
Normally, the Legislature would have four months to sift through the proposed budget. But this year, they will have roughly four weeks to conduct that review. The Legislature is required to approve a budget by June 15.
 
PAID OR PROTECTED LEAVE OF ABSENCE
In every state budget, there are several  budget trailer bills  that make statutory changes that have been “identified as related to the budget in the budget bill.” Those trailer bills often propose broad policy changes that should be considered through the normal legislative process involving public hearings and a deep dive into the public policy. This year, in this COVID-19 budget, there are once again several trailer bill proposals that seek substantial and controversial changes in law.
 
For example, Gov. Newsom is currently pushing a budget trailer bill that would make costly changes in employment leave laws. Many of these changes are also found in other bills in the Assembly and Senate. The California Chamber of Commerce has tagged these bills as  job killers . CAWG is part of a  broad coalition of industry groups  opposing these bills.
 
In the face of the pandemic and the resulting economic downturn and historic unemployment, it is troubling that the Legislature and Newsom are proposing to increase labor costs for employers. As businesses are struggling to stay afloat, employers need help, not the additional burdens being proposed.

 
-Michael Miiller / michael@cawg.org / (916) 204-0485
May 29 Webinar: You Did or Did Not Get a PPP Loan - Now What?
WHEN: Friday, May 29 / 9-10 a.m.
ABOUT: Moss Adams will provide a broad understanding of what cash relief options are available and alternative financing options for businesses. They will also review restarting, recovering and rising to get back to business in these unusual times.
PRESENTERS : Kirk Faris (tax senior manager) and Bill Vyenielo (senior wine industry business consultant) of Moss Adams.

$8B Food Supply Protection Act Introduced by Senate Dems
Senate Ag Committee Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) this week introduced the Food Supply Protection Act to help protect and strengthen the U.S. food supply chain that has been disrupted by the COVID-19 crisis. The $8 billion bill would include funding via grants, direct loans or loan guarantees to assist farmers in protecting workers, including protective gear and virus testing. The bill is cosponsored by all nine Democrats on the Senate Ag Committee.

County Variance Attestations
As of May 28, 47 of California’s 58 counties are now approved by the state to move more quickly through the second stage of California’s four-stage reopening process. Lassen County retracted its attestation this week due to a small outbreak of new cases.
  
> VIEW LIST OF APPROVED COUNTIES (and attestation forms)
DMV Reopens More Field Offices
DMV announced that 46 additional locations are now open to assist customers with a current appointments at these specific offices and limited transactions that require an in-person visit. View the list of 71 total locations . Customers can conduct numerous transactions via the DMV Virtual Field Office .
Related Resources and Articles
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NEWS ITEMS
CAWG Foundation Awards $30,000 in Student Scholarships
The CAWG Foundation has awarded $30,000 in college scholarships to six students. The scholarships are awarded annually to students whose parent or legal guardian is employed by a California winegrape grower. “All of the amazing scholarship recipients are inspirational because of their unwavering dedication to learning, volunteering and leading,” said Davindar Mahil, chair of the CAWG Foundation board of directors. “We applaud them for their outstanding accomplishments, hard work and their drive to make a difference. Some of the recipients are the first in their family to attend college. The CAWG Foundation is honored to provide these scholarships and show our support for vineyard employees who are valued members of our winegrape industry family.” Thank you to CAWG members and the California wine community for your generous donations to CAWG Foundation scholarship funds. 

Four-Year University Scholarship Recipients
$8,000 each
  • Angeli Aquino, Calistoga, Calistoga High School
  • Melissa Castillo, Livermore, Livermore High School
  • Alexandria Ramirez, Hollister, San Benito High School

Two-Year Community College Scholarship Recipients
$2,000 each
  • Vanessa Jimenez Ramirez, Shandon, Shandon High School
  • Yasmin Rodriguez, Shandon, Shandon High School
  • Anahi Ruiz, Cloverdale, Cloverdale High School
New AVA Proposed in Southern CA
Palos Verdes Peninsula could be a new American viticultural area in California. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) on May 26 published a proposed rule in the Federal Register for the establishment of the approximately 15,900-acre Palos Verdes Peninsula AVA in Los Angeles County. It does not lie within, or contain, any other viticultural area. The proposal is in response to a petition from James York on behalf of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Winegrowers. Comments on this proposal must be received on or before July 27, 2020.
Pierce's Disease Control Program Announces Staffing Changes
Roger Spencer, acting statewide coordinator for the Pierce’s Disease Control Program (PDCP) retired on April 30. He worked for the California Department of Food and Agriculture for 43 years and had been with PDCP since its inception 20 years ago. CAWG appreciates all that Spencer has done for the winegrape industry and wishes him an enjoyable retirement. Dr. Andrew "Andy" Cline, assistant director of CDFA Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services, will be the new acting statewide coordinator during the transitional period.

EDUCATION
Consumer & Trade Perceptions of Sustainable Wine
WHEN: June 5 / 9 a.m. (PDT)
PRESENTERS: Lulie Halstead, Wine Intelligence; Christian Miller, Full Glass Research; and Allison Jordan, California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance 
DETAILS: Wine industry research experts will present new data and insights from recent consumer and trade research on perceptions of sustainable winegrowing, certification and practices. 

ASEV Webinar: Learn More About Spotted Lanternfly
WHEN : June 3 / 12-1 p.m. (PDT)
PRESENTER: Heather Leach, extension associate with a focus in entomology at The Pennsylvania State University
DETAILS: Leach will review the biology and identification of spotted lanternfly, the risk of its establishment on the West Coast, and how to best manage it. Cost: ASEV members (free) and non-members ($50).

Office Hours with Dave and Anita: Webinar Videos Now Online
Watch the sessions on June 2 and June 9 from 2-3 p.m. using the following information:

MEETING ID: 917 4033 7428   
PASSWORD: 867092


Episode 5: New trellis types for growers considering mechanization and how to convert existing vineyards to systems that are more amenable to mechanization (to be posted soon)
Episode 4: Vineyard automation and mechanization
Episode 3: Exploring the genetics of grapevines
Episode 2: The latest in red blotch research
Episode 1: Viticulture and enology curriculum changes
FLC Continuing Education
From July through December, AgSafe is offering farm labor contractor continuing education classes and training courses. In-person one-day classes will be held in Modesto, Indio, Fresno, Napa and Bakersfield. Online classes will be conducted in three-hour segments over three days. Costs vary for members and non-members. The course meets the California DLSE nine hours of continuing education required for FLC licensing.


WATER & WEATHER
Be Prepared for the Next Heat Wave
An excessive heat warning was in effect this week for large portions of California. To prepare for the next heat wave, download heat illness prevention materials -- posters, guides, fact sheets, videos, etc. -- from the websites below. Cal/OSHA is also reminding employers to implement measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while protecting workers from heat illness.
 
 
Video: A Review of SJV Groundwater Sustainability Plans
The Public Policy Institute of California Water Policy Center last week held a webinar to summarize an in-depth review of 36 groundwater plans for 11 critically overdrafted basins in the San Joaquin Valley, where excess pumping is a major challenge. The presenters discussed key takeaways and next steps in the groundwater management effort.

> WEBINAR VIDEO (1 hour)


ARTICLES OF INTEREST
VINEYARDS & WINE

A $1 million grant will fund research using pheromone disruption against the pest.
Western Farm Press, May 27

A California program provides incentives for growers who implement conservation measures.
Western Farm Press, May 27

Forbes, May 23

CALENDAR
JUNE
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

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