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 1116 (Hall). Supported by FWC, this bill would allow wineries and distilled spirits producers to continue to hold private, invitation-only events beyond December 31, 2013. It would also expand the types of locations where these events could be held to hotels. AB 1116 is now in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
AB 227 (Gatto). Supported by FWC, this bill would allow wineries and alcohol retailers that allegedly violate the Prop. 65 warning sign law to correct the violation within 14 days and only pay a $500 fine. No settlements are allowed, nor a attorney costs recoverable. AB 227 is now in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
AB 636 (Hall). Supported by FWC, this bill would extend the bottle signing law to winemaker dinners held at bona fide eating places. Legislation passed in 2012 allowed promotional events at off-sale retail locations under specified conditions. AB 636 is now in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
SB 747 (DeSaulnier). This bill would give the Department of Public Health the authority to restrict sales of any product that contributed to a chronic disease, including alcoholic beverages, if mitigation measures proposed by the the manufacturers of the product don't diminish the cost to the state. SB 747 was pulled from the May 1 calendar in Senate Health Committee.
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