Legislative Mission Family Winemakers of California monitors and lobbies a variety of public policy issues on behalf of its members. Legislation ranging from changes to the tied-house laws (the state’s alcohol laws) to environmental issues that affect winery and vineyard operations must be identified, their impact gauged and action taken.
The scope of the effort is significant. Each year the California Legislature introduces over 2,000 bills. And state agencies, such as the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control or departments within the California Environmental Protection Agency that regulate business activities, formulate new regulations based on recent laws or update old regulations. In addition, Family Winemakers monitors regional regulatory agency activity and federal actions by the Tax and Trade Bureau.
The 2012-13 legislative session started on December 3, 2012. The first policy committee deadline is May 3.
Family Winemakers has identified 51 priority bills for this year. The top priorities are organized below by the position of the association.
AB 1642 (Chesbro). Supported by FWC, this bill would allow growers to vote in 2015 to extend the Pierce's Disease Program until March 1, 2021 to continue the vital research on protecting vines from PD and the Glassy-winged Sharpshooter.
AB 2488 (Levine). Supported by FWC, this bill would allow wineries to offer tastes at farmers' markets. Currently, under a bill sponsored by FWC in 2001, wineries can sell wine by the bottle. A single winery would be designed to pour at one market on any one day. Others could sell wine. Tastes are limited to 3 ounces per adult.
SB 1021 (Wolk). This bill would give school districts the ability to set difference parcel tax rates for residential, commerical and industrial properties thus creating a split roll and unequal tax assessment.
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