Legislative Watch

 

The 2015 legislative session is underway in Sacramento and California lawmakers have already introduced nearly 2,500 individual pieces of legislation. CCA reviews every bill to determine its impact on California beef producers and takes a position to support or oppose the bill in accordance with CCA’s member-developed policies.

 

Below is a short list of bills that CCA has taken or will take a position on in the coming weeks as committee hearings get underway. This is only a partial list of bills that CCA has taken a position on. For additional information, or if you have questions about the status of legislation not identified below, please do not hesitate to contact Justin Oldfield in the CCA office.

 

CCA Currently Supports:

 

AB 142 (Bigelow)Wild and scenic rivers: Mokelumne River

This bill follows an effort that was defeated by Senator Tom Berryhill, Assemblymember Frank Bigelow, CCA and other stakeholders last year to list the Mokelumne River as wild and scenic. This bill serves to preempt any future attempts to list the Mokelumne River as wild and scenic by requiring the Natural Resources Agency to complete a report demonstrating that current and future water supply needs can still be met if the river is listed, which ultimately can’t be done.

 

AB 243 (Wood)Medical marijuana cultivation

This bill would subject the cultivation of medical marijuana to local laws and ordinances and state environmental laws to curb environmental impacts associated with medical marijuana production and ensure local and state law enforcement can properly bring enforcement actions against known violations.

 

AB 290 (Bigelow)Game mammals: Big Game Management Account

This bill would eliminate the requirement of an individual tag for each feral hog that is legally taken and instead allow hunters to purchase an annual “validation” that will allow them to take an unlimited number of feral hogs for that given year. Provisions related to depredation permits for feral hogs will remain unchanged. This bill is likely to become a “two-year” bill.

 

AB 732 (Cooper)Cattle inspection: exemption

This bill specifically exempts a brand inspection for a business seeking to add a minority owner. This is largely not a beef cattle issue because new owners are typically added to registered brands, but it has caused unnecessary brand inspections for some dairies resulting in thousands of dollars in fees. The bill does not negatively impact state brand laws for the beef industry.

 

AB 1242 (Gray)Water quality: impacts on groundwater basins mitigation measures

This legislation would require a Groundwater Management Agency, under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, to first properly mitigate any reductions in groundwater pumping associated with the development of mandatory instream surface water flows.

 

AB 1249 (Lackey)Vehicles: motor carriers *CCA SPONSORED

CCA continues to work with CHP and members of the legislature to find solutions to the permitting, license and regulatory issues that ranchers face for operating flatbeds and common pickup and gooseneck trailer combinations to haul livestock. This bill is a spot bill, and if a solution can be reached prior to the house of origin deadline, this bill can be used to advance that solution legislatively this year.

 

AB 1390 (Alejo) Groundwater: adjudication

This bill establishes a streamlined adjudication procedure for those who seek to delineate their groundwater rights through the court if they believe their rights are threatened by a Groundwater Management Agency once the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act is fully implemented. Adjudicating water rights is a long process, but the courts can provide better due process if groundwater pumping rates are challenged by a Groundwater Management Agency.

 

SB 138 (Fuller)Physical education: high school rodeo

This bill will allow a student participating in high school rodeo events to be exempt from their physical education requirements similar to what is offered for other recognized sports.

 

SB 643 (McGuire)Medical marijuana

This bill will require the production and cultivation of medical marijuana to be specifically regulated and will authorize the Board of Equalization to commence a study that would explore taxing medical marijuana. Additional amendments are likely to come later following a hearing held in district at the end of April. 

CCA Currently Opposes:

 

SB 20 (Pavley)Wells: reports public availability

This bill will authorize a public agency to release private well logs, adulteration permits or deepening permits to the public upon request. CCA has opposed this bill in the past and has been successful in defeating it.

 

SB 27 (Hill)Livestock: use of antibiotics *OPPOSE UNLESS AMENDED

This bill will serve as the primary legislative vehicle to advance any new statewide policy relative to the use of antibiotics in livestock production. Specific details related to the elimination of over-the-counter antibiotics, stewardship guidelines or a tracking program have yet to be determined. CCA is actively engaged in the development of SB 27 and staff will recommend a position to the CCA Executive Committee for approval once final amendments are released. All Senate policy committees must report bills to the Senate Appropriations Committee by May 1, 2015.

 

SB 32 (Pavley)California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006: emissions limits

This bill extends the life of AB 32 (Nunez), passed in 2006, and will require that California achieve an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions relative to levels documented in 1990. Regulations associated with AB 32 have been harmful to state businesses and SB 32 only seeks to continue that legacy, if not increase regulatory burdens.