Franchise grab

One of the consequences of the passage of AB 779 in 2013, which allowed beer manufacturers to make cider and perry, was the ripple effect in other sections of California's tied house statutes.  AB 816 (Hall), opposed by Family Winemakers in 2014, would extend the current beer wholesaler successor law to cider and perry.  Cider and perry are still defined as wine products by the U.S. Tax and Trade Bureau and California.  FWC opposes extending the successor law because all privileges flow from the type of product and currently wine products are not subject to franchise laws in the state.

FWC is monitoring bill introductions for 2015 to see if the wholesalers continue to press the issue.

3rd party wage liability

Governor Brown gave labor unions a big lever against labor contractors with the signing of AB 1897 (Hernandez) on Sept. 28.  The bill makes wineries that hire farm labor contractors for vineyard maintenance and harvesting liable for unpaid wages and lack of workers compensation insurance.  The bill includes a private right of action so labor advocates can pursue claims.  FWC was part of a broad business and  agriculture coalition asking for a veto.  On a slightly brighter note the Governor vetoed SB 25 (Steinberg), which would have fastracked the imposition of a contract under mandatory mediation rules.

Family Policy Priorities

SB 1168: Groundwater regulation Neutral Chaptered
AB 1739: Groundwater regulation Neutral Chaptered
AB 1897: Labor contracting: client liability Oppose Chaptered
AB 2589: County sealer fees and inspection Oppose DEFEATED
SB 1021: School district parcel taxes Oppose DEFEATED