2022-2023 Priority Bill List

The California Association of Winegrape Growers is advocating in Sacramento during the deliberation on these proposed changes in the law. As a strong voice for California winegrape growers, CAWG helps make lawmakers aware of the potential effects of the legislation they are considering. In many cases, this includes unintended but devastating, consequences.

CAWG sponsors and supports legislation that positively impacts grape growing in California and opposes legislation that can negatively impact the industry, our workers, and our communities. Below are a few of the many priorities CAWG is working on in Sacramento:

Legislation Sponsored (or co-sponsored) by CAWG: 
AB 54 (Agular-Curry, D-Winters) – Smoke Taint Research
CAWG and Wine Institute are seeking a $5 million appropriation for CDFA to fund smoke taint research. AB 54 would create the structure within CDFA for that research.

AB 1024 (Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters) – Diversion of Streams for Irrigation Ponds
CAWG and Wine Institute are co-sponsoring this bill to allow for the timely diversion of high-flowing streams for irrigation ponds.

SB 659 (Ashby, D-Sacramento) – Increase Groundwater Recharge
CAWG and Regional Water Authority (Sacramento) are co-sponsoring this bill to push for 10 million new acre-feet of groundwater recharge.

SB 375 (Alvarado-Gil, D-Jackson) – COVID-19 Tax Credit
CAWG sponsored this bill which would have created a tax credit to reimburse employers for the costs of complying with COVID-19 workplace regulations in 2023 and 2024.  

Legislation CAWG is Supporting:
SB 279 (Niello, R-Fair Oaks) – Increase Public Participation in Rulemaking
This bill would increase public participation in the regulatory process, which is important when regulators are required to calculate the costs of compliance.

SB 685 (Hurtado, D-Hanford) – Transitioning Farmworkers to Ag Tech
This bill would require 20% of Apprenticeship Innovation Funding Program funds to be allocated for transitioning farmworkers to agriculture technology.

SB 23 (Caballero, D-Merced) – Expedited Permits for Water Supply & Flood Protection
SB 23 would help accelerate recycled water, desalination, and stormwater capture projects while also accelerating projects meant to provide flood control and respond to sea level rise.

SB 366 (Caballero, D-Merced) – CA Water Plan Long-Term Supply Targets
This bill would establish necessary water supply targets to capture and produce enough water for all uses, including communities, agriculture, and the environment, by modernizing the California Water Plan for a 21st-century climate.

AB 606 (Mathis, R-Porterville) Endangered Species Act: accidental take: farms or ranches
This bill would indefinitely extend the authority for accidental take of listed species in the course of otherwise lawful and routine agricultural activities.

SB 361 (Dodd, D-Napa) Water resources: stream gages
SB 362 would have facilitated the collection of comprehensive streamflow information and other water data that are essential to managing water for multiple needs, including water supply, flood protection, water quality, and protection of critical freshwater ecosystems.

Legislation CAWG is Opposing:|
AB 113 – Card Check Budget Trailer Bill
THis trailer bill was signed ahead of the state budget and make changes Governor Newsom and labor unions agreed upon last year when he signed Card Check legislation (AB 2183) into law. AB 113took effect May 15, 2023 and made the following changes to last year's Card Check bill:

  • Eliminate mail-in ballots.
  • Eliminate “labor peace elections or non-labor peace elections.”
  • Cap the number of Card Check elections at 75 elections before January 1, 2028. 

CAWG is opposed to Card Check and was opposed to AB 2183 and the deal Newsom struck in 2022.

SB 224 (Hurtado, D-Hanford) – Foreign Investment in Ag Land
This bill attempted to prevent foreign nations from buying up California ag land. However, CAWG is opposed to SB 224 because as drafted, the bill could inadvertently dry up operating capital for small growers. 

AB 650 (Arambula, D-Fresno) – San Joaquin Valley Air Board
CAWG opposed this bill which would have decreased local government membership on the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District Board. AB 650 would have set a terrible precedent for other regional air boards around the state and was rejected by the Assembly Local Government Committee without a vote

AB 560 (Bennett, D-Ventura) –  Groundwater Management: Adjudication
This bill is duplicative of existing law and would further delay lengthy adjudication proceedings by adding a State Water Board advisory review of the adjudication.

AB 779 (Wilson, D-Fairfield) – Groundwater Adjudication
AB 779 would require parties in adjudication to needlessly provide materials, once a decision has been rendered by the court, to the Department of Water Resources.

SB 389 (Allen, D-Los Angeles) – “Modernizing” Water Rights
This bill would materially alter the water rights system in California. SB 389 could result in the inability of water agencies to meet existing needs, plan for the future, and would create uncertainty about the full extent of water rights.

AB 460 (Bauer-Kahan, D-Contra Costa) – Water Rights & Usage
This bill would allow the State Water Resources Control Board to issue interim orders that may serve to limit water rights.

AB 1205 (Bauer-Kahan, D-Contra Costa) – Water Rights Transfers in Ag Land
AB 1205 would declare the marketing of groundwater or surface water tied to agricultural land by an investment fund shall not be a reasonable or beneficial use of water.

AB 1337 (Wicks, D-Oakland) – Water Diversion Curtailment)
This bill would authorize the State Water Resources Control Board to implement regulations through orders curtailing water use under any claim of water right.

SB 399 (Wahab, D-Hayward) – Employer Communications
SB 399 woul limit the ability of an employer to engage in free speech (political) where an employee may see or hear those communications.  

SB 553 (Cortese, D-San Jose – Workplace Violence Prevention
This bill would require onerous training, record keeping, and procedures to prevent the workplace from violence and employees from feeling unsafe.

SB 616 (Gonzalez, D-Los Angeles) – Sick Leave
This bill would extend mandatory paid sick leave from three days to seven days annually and would also increase the number of paid sick days an employee can roll over to the next year from three to seven days.

SB 365 (Weiner, D-San Francisco) – Arbitration in Employment Contracts
This bill would allow workers to continue a case in court when there is a pending appeal of a trial court’s denial of a motion to compel arbitration.

SB 809 (Smallwood-Cuevas, D-Los Angeles) – Criminal Job Applicants
This bill would have made it more difficult for employers to screen job applicants who have a criminal history of workplace violence, theft from an employer, or other felonies.

SCA 7 (Umberg, D-Orange County) Labor Unions: workers’ rights
This Constitutional Amendment would create the Right to Organize and Negotiate Act, which would provide that all Californians have the right to join a union and the right to protect their economic well-being and safety at work. SCA 7 would also prohibit the legislature or local governments from passing any law that interferes with, negates, or diminishes the right of employees to join a union.

2021-2022 Priority Bill List