August 12, 2013

Winegrowers Lobby for Industry Priorities

The State Senate reconvenes today, Monday, August 12, 2013 to pass Prop 65 legislation before the September 13 deadline. Proposition 65 is a much-disputed law, established in 1986 that requires businesses to warn individuals before knowingly exposing them to a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects and other reproductive harm.

According to the Civil Justice Association of California (CJAC), this list of chemicals has grown to about 800 different substances and has done more to enrich plaintiffs' lawyers to the tune of over 60% in settlements since 2000, than to protect the public from toxic chemicals. 

AB 227 will help reduce Prop. 65 litigation by helping businesses avoid lawsuits for such substance exposure violations as alcohol or food-related chemicals by requiring a monetary penalty and by posting a warning before notifying the business.
Family Winemakers of California (FWC), an Association of California Table Wine Producers, are lobbying wine industry priorities. FWC is reserving judgment until Proposition 65 language is in print, perhaps within the next few days. 
FWC also supports AB 1116, the private event extension bill, which is also approaching passage with its next Senate hearing. Finally, the foreign labor contractor bill, SB516, could impact J-1 visas used by the wine industry; however, FWC is working to fix the problem.