Your source for CAWG and industry news
 July 6, 2018

July 16
CAWG Board of Directors meeting, Napa

July 17
CAWG Summer Conference, Napa

July 17
CAWG Awards of Excellence Program and Dinner, Napa

July 18
CAWG PAC Golf Tournament, Napa

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Government Relations Report
The California Taxpayers Association ( Cal Tax) believes spending should be curtailed and the Legislature should pursue fewer tax increases. Nonetheless, according to the " Tax Watch 2018" report released this week, tax increases dominate the 2018 legislative landscape.
Tax Watch calculated the cost of 39 bills and constitutional amendments in the current legislative session and found that the cumulative cost is more than $272 billion annually in higher taxes and fees. This would more than double the amount of state taxes and fees already paid. 
The annual report, written by The California Tax Foundation (a research arm of Cal Tax), states, "The Legislature is on track to introduce more taxes and fees than in prior years. Despite expected state budget reserves of nearly $16 billion, lawmakers continue to propose higher taxes and fees." 
Potentially balancing things out with the Legislature, Jerry Brown has a reputation of being a frugal governor who saves for a rainy day. However, last week when he signed the 2018-19 state budget, he did not use his line-item veto to remove any spending whatsoever from the budget. He vetoed no spending in 2016 as well. 
Typically, the budget that is sent to the governor includes funding items with which the governor disagrees and vetoes. Prior to 2016 the last state budget without spending vetoes was in 1982, during Brown's second term. Before that, the last budget with no vetoes at all was 1970, when Ronald Reagan was governor.

Yesterday a Sacramento judge ruled on a challenge by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to three California sanctuary laws that took effect in January. In the decision, the U.S. District Court upheld two California laws that address how law enforcement and city and county agencies interact with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.  
The ruling also upheld a portion of a third law (AB 450) requiring employers to notify workers whenever ICE does an I-9 audit or inspection. However, the remainder of AB 450 (Chiu, D-San Francisco) was found invalid for private sector employers. These now-invalid provisions included the following restrictions:
  • Prohibit an employer from allowing an ICE agent access to the workplace (without a court order). 
  • Prohibit an employer from providing an ICE agent access to employee records (without a subpoena).
  • Prohibit an employer from periodically re-verifying employment eligibility of a current employee (unless required by federal law).  
CAWG was opposed to AB 450 and argued that the bill created state penalties for law-abiding employers who voluntarily cooperate with federal law enforcement. In tossing out these provisions, the court's ruling concluded that AB 450, "impermissibly discriminates against those who choose to deal with the Federal Government." Additionally, the ruling stated AB 450, "frustrates the system of accountability that Congress designed."
This week's ruling will be appealed. Winegrape growers are advised to check with your accountant and attorney on how to appropriately interact with and respond to ICE inquiries. 

-- Michael Miiller / / 916-379-8995  

U.S. Chamber Analysis: $5.6 Billion in California Exports Threatened by Emerging Trade War
A new state-by-state analysis by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce found that $5.6 billion of California exports (see below) are threatened by new retaliatory tariffs.  It was compiled using data on state exports from the U.S. Department of Commerce and data on U.S. exports subject to foreign tariffs from official government sources of China, the European Union, Mexico and Canada.
--$562 million in California exports to Canada.
--$699 million in California exports to Mexico.
--$4 billion in California exports to China.
--$383 million in California exports to Europe.

Insect Invaders: Perils of Global Trade
A recent article in Growing Produce highlights invasive species entering the U.S. and efforts to fight them. One researcher said, "There are a lot of opportunities for those pests to come in" through trade and tourism.  According to the Entomological Society of America (ESA), invasive species are responsible for up to 50 percent of the crop losses in California.  For the nation as a whole, ESA estimates the U.S. is adding about 11 new exotic species each year. Overall, it estimates that invasive species -- including insects and weeds -- cost the U.S. more than $122 billion per year. The article provides details on four of these invasive pests.

Spring Forward, Fall Back? Daylight Saving Time to Appear on November Ballot
Along with deciding whether or not to split California into three parts, voters will now get to vote on repealing the Daylight Saving Time Act. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the legislation ( AB 807 , Kansen Chu) on June 28 and wrote in a statement, "If passed, it will -- albeit a circuitous path -- open the door for year-round daylight saving. Fiat lux!" Translated: "Let there be light." According to a Mercury News article, Chu doesn't care if the state is on year-round daylight saving or standard time; he just wants to pick one and stop switching clocks twice a year. If Proposition 7 passes, there would need to be federal authorization.
>ARTICLE: Huge tradeoffs in CA votes for year-round DST

New Website Showcases Lake County's Wine Industry
The Lake County Winegrape Commission and Lake County Winery Association have launched a new website highlighting Lake County wine country. serves as an educational resource for wine trade and consumers, with sections on the wine, appellations, climate, stewardship, people and volcanics.

Topic addressed during panel discussion at 2018 Lodi Vineyard & Wine Economics Symposium.
Lodi Winegrape Commission, June 29

New rules for workplace injuries, illnesses

Article looks at common injuries workers experience in viticulture, plus employer responsibilities.
North Bay Business Journal, June 29
At a recent field day in Oakville, UCD's Kaan Kurtural demonstrated a fully automated vineyard he developed.
Western Farm Press, June 27
One of the implications of the labor shortage is that growers are opting for single high-wire trellising that allows for mechanical pruning when they replant.
Wine Business, July 3

Proposed Ground Water Protection Areas: Notice of Public Hearing and Extension of Comment Period
As reported in the June 1 eNews, DPR is proposing to amend the document entitled "Ground Water Protection Areas" by adding 121 GWPAs and identifying each area as either a leaching GWPA or runoff GWPA. According to DPR, the regulation will be a benefit to the environment and would have an impact on small businesses. It will protect ground water from contamination resulting from the agricultural use of pesticides. 

**The comment period has been extended from July 9 to  Aug. 7. A hearing is scheduled for July 31 at 1:30 p.m. at Cal EPA in Sacramento.** CAWG will be participating in the process.

Articles and Resources

The local water agencies that stand to benefit from the WaterFix tunnels project have formed a new joint powers authority to oversee construction. Q&A
News Deeply/Water Deeply, July 3
The pilot program is kicking off in Ventura County, but experts say that it may be replicated in other parts of the state as California works to comply with SGMA and curb overpumping of aquifers.
News Deeply/Water Deeply, June 22

Independent Grape Growers - Paso Robles Area (IGGPRA) July Seminar

WHEN: July 18 / 1-4 p.m.
WHERE: J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, Paso Robles
TOPICS:  Bird control, ground pest control, veraison best practices and fire prevention. Earn up to two CEUs.

CSWA: Sustainable Winegrowing Workshop for Ag Professionals

WHEN: July 24 / 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
WHERE: UC Davis Robert Mondavi Institute Sensory Theatre, Davis
Risk Mitigation in the Vineyard & Winery 
>Fire Recovery and Erosion Control BMPs 

Water and Emerging Regulatory Issues 
>New Vineyard Water Quality Permit 

Update on the California Sustainable Winegrowing Program 
>Exploring the Link Between Sustainable Winegrowing Practices and Wine Quality 

A Round-up of Recent Viticulture and Enology Research