We hope you enjoy our monthly public edition of CRA's e-newsletter including important information about the retail environment in California.
President's Message
This week we end our first legislative deadline for 2020 – House of Origin. Bills must pass out of their original house in order to be considered in the second house. CRA has several bills we track for our members and the CRA team is working the halls of the State Capitol advocating on our members’ behalf. After today’s deadline, CRA members are updated on bill status and are invited to participate in monthly policy calls where the CRA team and our contract lobbyists do a deep dive into the policy issues we are tracking and possible impact on retail in California.   

Rachel
CRA Member Highlights
Plastic News published an op-ed this week that highlighted Dart Container's "Retail Story" in environmental sustainability. Dart is helping the business community move closer to a circular economy through their efforts to improve material recovery facilities (MRFs), part of a recycling system that has not been updated to meet today's needs.

“We believe it is time to advocate for and support legislation calling for reasonable, achievable recycling rates that includes public-private infrastructure funding mandates to create a nationwide network of regionally operated secondary MRFs. This is a solution that is cost-effective with some initial proven results. It's time for all stakeholders to come together and get to work on a viable solution, such as the development of connected regional secondary MRFs.”

Join CRA to share your company's positive "Retail Stories" and be a part of our advocacy effort. Help us include your company's programs and initiatives in our outreach efforts. Your membership in CRA adds to the overall policy influence the association has at the state and local level. We help tell the "retail story" to consumers and policymakers about the important contributions retail makes to California’s economy and workforce.

Join the growing community of retailers working to protect California's consumers, jobs and the economy. CRA will continue to share "Retail Stories" like Dart's. Don't let your company be left out of the retail narrative. Help us share with policymakers and the public all of the the positive work your company is doing in key issue areas affecting our state including environmental sustainability, protecting consumers, supporting and training employees, creating jobs, helping communities and supporting local economies.

Call our office at 916-443-1975 or send an email to cra@calretailers.com to find out how you can join the Association that represents the largest group of private sector employers in the state.
CRA Advocacy
CRA's advocacy program has had a very busy start in 2020. Today is the deadline for all two year bills, bills introduced in the first year of the 2019-2020 legislative session, to pass out of their House of Origin. This is a constitutional deadline meaning these bills cannot be revived through Assembly or Senate Rules. Our team has been actively lobbying on bills impacting the retail industry and keeping our members up to date and involved in all policy and regulatory discussions and developments as they happen. Every action CRA takes includes a focus on promoting, preserving and enhancing California's retail industry. Below are the latest activities CRA has been engaged in leading up to today's House of Origin deadline. Read more about our advocacy program here .  

Packaging Legislation
The packaging bills, SB 54 (Allen) and AB 1080 (Gonzalez) have been moved to the Inactive File in the Assembly and Senate, respectively. Though both bills can still be moved back to the Floor on short notice, moving the bills to Inactive means the authors have no immediate plans to move for a Floor vote. They will, however, survive this Friday's (January 31st) bill deadline for bills in their first house as both are in their second house. 
 
CRA is continuing to work with the Administration on retailer-specific issues with these bills. We will continue to keep our members informed on any developments.

Our team is also developing materials that will highlight the positive work retailers are doing to promote environmental sustainability including company programs and initiatives like Target's "How2Recycle" label and Gap's compostability efforts. This material will be leveraged in future meetings and conversations with policymakers and shared publicly via CRA's social media channels, website and email communications.

Join today to ensure you company is not left out of these positive retail narratives. CRA Members receive the exclusive benefit of being part of our advocacy team's Environmental Sustainability committee, which helps CRA form policy strategies on this very important policy area affecting retail.

Predictive Scheduling
CRA met with Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino) to determine her plans for SB 850, “The Fair Scheduling Act of 2020". The bill follows workplace scheduling laws in Oregon and San Francisco and the Los Angeles City Council is considering a similar measure. SB 850 would apply statewide to all California employers in retail, grocery, or restaurants requiring them to provide employees a 21-day shift schedule with seven-day notice prior to the first shift. The CRA team will keep members updated on our discussions with the bill's author and other developments. SB 850 is expected to be heard in March or April.

Additional Legislative Updates
  • Labeling Requirements for Non-Woven Disposal Products: AB 1672 (Bloom) would impose labeling requirements on certain non-dispersable, non-woven disposal products such as baby wipes disclosing that they are not flushable. The bill would also prohibit sellers of these products from any mention of these products as they may relate to flushing including advertisements and impose civil liability of $2,500 per violation. AB 1672 passed the Assembly and will now be considered in the Senate. 
  • Wellness Programs Expose Employers to Criminal and Civil Liabilities: CRA remains opposed to AB 648 (Nazarian), which cleared the Assembly and will be heard in the Senate. The bill, introduced last year, creates significant liability for employers and imposes requirements, which would likely end voluntary workplace Wellness Programs that benefit employees and contribute to a healthy workforce. 
  • AB 628 Employer Civil Liabilities Update: AB 628 (Bonta), a two- year bill labeled a JOB KILLER by the California Chamber of Commerce and opposed by CRA, failed to pass out of the Assembly by today's House of Origin deadline and is now dead. This is a win for CRA members. AB 628 would have created inconsistent definitions of sexual harassment under the Labor and Government Codes, imposed an unlimited leave of absence on employers for employees and their family members, imposed another pathway for costly litigation against employers for issues that are already protected under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and created new Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) liability. While CRA fully supports efforts to eliminate harassment in the workplace, this proposal would have created significant challenges for employers to manage their workforce and comply with existing anti-harassment requirements. Our active lobbying efforts against the bill resulted in a win for CRA members.
  • Personal Service Contracts: AB 790 (Levine) failed to pass out of the Assembly by today's House of Origin deadline and is now dead. CRA joined a coalition of business groups in submitting a letter opposing the bill. The bill would have required that certain companies provide notices to personal service workers of another entity regarding the personal service workers’ right to form or assist labor organizations as permitted under federal law. This requirement would have made compliance nearly impossible and was likely preempted by federal law.
  • Gender Pricing: Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) has reintroduced a gender-pricing measure in the State Legislature. SB 873 has been revised from last year’s SB 320, which would have subjected retailers to costly litigation over determinations of the “gender “of various products. The bill was opposed by a large coalition of business groups and ultimately failed to pass the Senate Judiciary Committee. SB 873 will be eligible for its first hearing in late February.
  • Judge Pauses California Ban on Exotic Skin Sales: A federal judge has temporarily blocked a California law banning the import and sale of alligator and crocodile products. U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller noted in the temporary restraining order that California is not conceding anything by agreeing to the TRO and may continue to enforce laws barring the importation of alligator and crocodile bodies and body parts that are forbidden under the Endangered Species Act. CRA supported an extension of the prior law allowing alligator and crocodile products to be sold (AB 719, Rubio). Unfortunately, the bill stalled in Senate Appropriations Committee last August.
  • AB 51 Employee Arbitration Lawsuit: AB 51 would preclude employers from enforcing arbitration agreements and make it a crime to do so, as a condition of employment and was set to become law on January 1, 2020. The federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction against AB 51 so its anti-arbitration provisions cannot be enforced for the foreseeable future. 

Regulatory Updates
  • CCPA Update: We have received word that the Attorney General will be circulating another draft of the regulations and will be soliciting comments. We will keep our members informed as this progresses and what actions CRA will take on behalf of retail in California. We still do not know the timeline, but are monitoring it closely. 
  • Landscape Irrigation Controllers: CRA submitted comments to the California Energy Commission in response to their proposed efficiency standards for landscape irrigation systems, pursuant to Assembly Bill 1928 (Campos) of 2016. The letter requested the removal of any requirement for smart irrigation controllers connected to local weather forecasts and data to additionally interface with a rainfall sensor.
  • Prop. 65 Warnings for Acrylamide Update: Monday was the deadline for comment submissions to the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) regarding their proposal to add a carcinogen label to the over-the-counter drug Acetaminophen. CRA was among those who submitted comments, joining a coalition of businesses opposed to the Prop. 65 warning regulatory change. The CRA team works with members to craft responses to proposed regulations and compliance mandates including messaging and strategy.
  • Update on Prop. 65 Warnings for Acrylamide: Following the CalChamber's lawsuit to end Prop.65 Warnings for Acrylamide, CRA joined a coalition letter to Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) requesting a rule making process to establish an Alternative No Significant Risk Level applicable to almonds, other nuts, cocoa and chocolate, particularly given their documented health benefits.The letter and meeting request was submitted in response to numerous 60-day notices that have been issued to members of the coalition, which have resulted in litigation.
  • AB 3232 Decarbonization: CRA signed on to a California Building Industry Association letter in response to the AB 3232 Commissioner Workshop on Building Decarbonization conducted on December 4, 2019. The letter asks the the California Energy Commission to comply with all parts of AB 3232 and evaluate cost-effectiveness with respect to its building decarbonization proposals. 
State Budget Update
Governor Newsom released his 2020 State Budget proposal last Friday, which included record spending along with continuing to build the state's largest-ever budget reserves. The proposal outlined Newsom's top priority issues for the year including emergency response (PG&E and wildfires), healthcare (state generic prescription drugs), education (paid family leave, early childhood and higher education), climate change and homelessness ($1 billion in funding for housing the homeless and affordable housing). 
CRA Events and Activities
CRA is hosting a two day event March 10 and 11 in Sacramento to advocate for retail in California! 
 
On Tuesday, March 10, 2020 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, CRA will host our Legislative Reception, honoring our 2020 Retail Champion Legislators of the Year. Mingle with policy makers, Capitol insiders and CRA members as we recognize our Retail Legislative Champions in the State Capitol.
 
On March 11, we will host an exclusive member-only Retail Day at the Capitol, CRA's lobby day. The day will start with a policy briefing to discuss important legislation and regulations impacting CRA members. Following the policy briefing, CRA members will meet with state legislators, their staff and members of the Administration to advocate on important issues affecting our industry.
CRA President Rachel Michelin and Vice President Steve McCarthy toured the Whirlpool Distribution Center in Stockton last week. They joined Assemblywoman Susan Eggman (D-Stockton) and representatives from the offices of Assemblymen Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) and Jim Frazier (D-Fairfield) to learn about the impact of product packaging legislation (SB 54/Allen and AB 1080/Gonzalez) on shipping and warehousing of heavy appliances. Representatives from Whirlpool and the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers explained conflicts between recyclability and source reduction in appliance packaging, how recyclable materials can add to shipping weight, costs and greenhouse gas emissions and challenges in developing new materials that are resilient as well as recyclable. 
CRA Joins Coalition for Power Safety, Reliability and Affordability (PSRA)
CRA is proud to partner with other like-minded business associations, manufacturers, restaurants and food processors on the issue of energy reliability in the state. This past year, California experienced unprecedented power shut offs, which negatively impacted large and small retailers across the state. The Coalition for Power Safety, Reliability and Affordability (PSRA), represents California's small, medium and large businesses advocating that the “new” normal should be reliable, safe and affordable power for all – not planned power shut-offs. 
CRA Joins California Coalition on Workers' Compensation
Recently, CRA joined the California Coalition on Workers’ Compensation (CCWC). The coalition works with state lawmakers and regulators to influence cost-saving legislation and compliance for businesses. CCWC's priorities are to reduce costs for employers while addressing benefit shortcomings for injured workers. The coalition is also focused on overseeing the implementation of SB 863.
Do Tariffs Impact Local Economies?
At an informational hearing on International Trade and the California Economy hosted by the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy, and attended by CRA, The Ports of LA presented their comprehensive study titled "By The Numbers: Jeopardizing the National Benefits of Trade Through America’s Busiest Port Complex".

CRA President and CEO, Rachel Michelin attended the hearing and provided comments on behalf of the Association.​
 
Shortly after the briefing, President Trump announced the completion of the  United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) , the alternative to NAFTA.
 
California Organized Retail Crime Association (Cal ORCA 2020) Conference
A Bridge to Partnership
February 12-13
South San Francisco Conference Center
San Francisco, CA
Keynote Speaker: CRA President and CEO Rachel Michelin
CRA Partner Events
National Grocers Association Show
For independent supermarket retailers, by independent supermarket retailers
February 23-26
San Diego, CA
Join us at The NGA Show – February 23-26 at the San Diego Convention Center 
Start your new year off at the only event designed for independent supermarket retailers, by independent supermarket retailers … and positions you to drive sales, increase consumer satisfaction and focus on insights and innovation. 300+ Exhibitors, 60+ Education Offerings and Unlimited Networking. Bring your team! Register today using Discount Code: NGA10E4 to save 10%
White Label World Expo
Transform Your Products And Brand Power!
February 26-27
Las Vegas, Nevada
Less Than a Month Away! The ultimate destination for ecommerce, retail, reselling and branding is coming to Las Vegas in February ! Get in touch with industry experts and discover how White Label can leap your products forward! Register for Free Now
Flourish Conference
The Growth of Branded Currency
CRA Event Partner
March 16-18
Chicago, Illinois
Now in its fourth year, the Flourish Conference offers everyone within the gift card/ certificate, loyalty, promotional value and branded currency industry the opportunity to network with industry leaders and learn about everything from program management basics to the newest technologies, regulations, and advanced strategies. Join us!

North America’s fastest growing conference focused on gift card, loyalty, and promotional value. Use code CRA15 to save 15% off registration
Exclusive CRA Member Benefits
CRA Committees, Task Forces and Work Groups
CRA Members and their subject matter colleagues get the exclusive right to join CRA's Committees, Task Forces and Work Groups, which help our advocacy team form the best policy strategies on key issues affecting retail in California. Learn how membership with CRA can get your company plugged into CRA's advocacy program. 
CRA Member Portal

CRA members get access to CRA's exclusive online member portal , which contains coalition letters, floor alerts, regulatory comments and testimony that California Retailers Association authored or signed on to during the 2019-2020 Legislative session. The portal also contains important association governance documents for members' reference.
Rachel Michelin
President