One of the core functions of Family Winemakers, like any trade association, is encouraging legislative and regulatory action by its members. This enables the organization to broaden its reach through advocacy at the grassroots level.
When the Legislature reconvened on August 4 one of the most pressing issues it faced is related to California's drought. Whether to regulate groundwater as part of an overall approach to solving water availability and managing its use could be decided. California is one of the few states that does not have a state groundwater regulatory program. Groundwater is considered an integral part of property rights. Naturally, groundwater supplements surface water, or as we've seen with the drought more often then not supplants non-existant surface water. AB 1739 (Dickenson), SB 1168 (Pavley) and SB 1319 (Hill) were subject to intense lobbying up to the end of the session on August 30. All three bills are awaiting action by Governor Brown before September 30.
As a member of Family Winemakers you can contact your legislator or the Governor to express your views.
Our current grassroots alert concerns AB 1897 (Hernandez), which would make wineries, and other businesses, liable for the unpaid wages and workers compensation of labor contractors. See more information in the next column.
At the moment there are no member action calls. The bill signing period has concluded and the Legislature is adjourned until it reconvenes on December 1.
The last few months of the year are filled with rulemaking by regulatory bodies. Check back on this page to see if there are issues requiring action.