On today’s episode, we talk about the legislative, legal, and policy issues that face my favorite special interest in California state government and politics – craft beer. And to get more insight into that topic I brought Tom McCormick of the California Craft Brewers Association (CCBA) and McGeorge Professor – and craft beer law expert – Dan Croxall on the show to talk with.

Like Tom said, the best way to learn more about the craft beer industry is just to go spend time at your local craft brewery. But if you want to learn more about CCBA specifically – as well as the California Craft Beer Festival – you can always check out their website here.

You can also follow CCBA on Facebook and Twitter, and you can follow Tom on Twitter @CCBATom.

You can find Professor Croxall on Twitter @GoodBeerLawProf.

As always, if you enjoyed today’s episode, please take the time to leave us a five-star rating on iTunes, Apple Podcasts, or Stitcher Radio, and subscribe to our show wherever you listen to podcasts. All of that makes The CAP⋅impact Podcast easier to find and more accessible.

You can also stay in touch with us and let us know what you thought about today’s show and think about the show generally on Facebook and Twitter. Just like CAP⋅impact on Facebook or follow @CAPimpactCA on Twitter.

The CAP⋅impact Podcast is made possible by the Capital Center for Law & Policy at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, California. You can learn more about the Capital Center here, and keep up with the Capital Center on Facebook and Twitter.

McGeorge Professor and Director of the Capital Center for Law & Policy, Leslie Gielow Jacobs, was interviewed by KCRA’s Max Resnik about President Trump’s incorrect claim that he can change the U.S. Constitution via executive order.

On whether or not the President can use an executive order to change the Constitution, Professor Jacobs responded, “He doesn’t have the authority, unilaterally, to issue and executive order that changes either what’s in a statute or what’s in the Constitution.”

You watch the entire interview and see the other questions KCRA had for Professor Jacobs here.

For a more in depth discussion of Proposition 8, and the ten other initiatives on the ballot this November you can watch the forum in its entirety on YouTube or read the full analyses here. And keep your eyes peeled on The CAP⋅impact Podcast’s feed on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, or wherever you get your podcasts from for analysis of this year’s ballot initiatives in your headphones coming next week.

Proposition 8: Fair Pricing for Dialysis Act

Current Law

  • California Health and Safety Code regulates chronic dialysis clinics (CDCs)
  • Current law does not limit the revenue of chronic dialysis clinics providing kidney dialysis treatment.

Proposed Law

  • Limit chronic dialysis clinics revenue and require clinics to issue refunds for revenue above 115 percent of the costs of direct patient care service and health care quality improvements.
  • Assess penalties if clinics fail to maintain information or timely submit a report required, report inaccurate or incomplete amounts or percentages, or fail to timely issue a full rebate.
  • Require clinics to submit annual reports to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). These reports shall include the number of dialysis treatments provided, the amount allowable costs, the amount of owner/operator’s revenue car, the amount by which revenues exceed the cap, and the amount of rebates paid.
  • Prohibit clinics from refusing to treat patient based on source of payment for care.

Policy Considerations

 

Yes on Proposition 8 No on Proposition 8
  • Lower costs of dialysis treatment.
  • Improve patient care by incentivizing clinics to spend more of direct patient care services.
  • Ensure clean dialysis centers because clinics would spend more on health care quality improvements.
  • Require corporations to refund excessive profits that aren’t spent on improving patient care.
  • Clinics will operate at a loss because reimbursement rates are too low.
  • Clinics will be forced to close.
  • Patients will be forced to seek treatment at more expensive hospital emergency rooms due to closures of clinics.
  • Definition of “allowable” costs excludes critical staff and necessary services to operate a dialysis clinic.
  • Presents constitutional issues, giving rise to a post-election challenge.

Analysis of Proposition 8 provided by John Ponce and Anupe Litt.

For a more in depth discussion of Proposition 11, and the ten other initiatives on the ballot this November you can watch the forum in its entirety on YouTube or read the full analyses here. And keep your eyes peeled on The CAP⋅impact Podcast’s feed on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, or wherever you get your podcasts from for analysis of this year’s ballot initiatives in your headphones coming next week.

Proposition 11: Emergency Ambulance Employees Safety and Preparedness Act

Current Law

  • Federal law – Under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, emergency employees may not receive compensation for interrupted breaks.
  • State law – Under the California Labor Code, employer-mandated on-call rest breaks are illegal.
  • CA Supreme Court – In Augustus v. ABM Security Services (2016), the California Supreme Court held that on-call breaks violate state labor law. Full compliance with the Augustus decision would potentially increase costs for ambulance providers by more than $100,000 annually.

Proposed Law

  • Allows emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics to remain on-call during breaks.
  • Requires employers to pay EMTs and paramedics at their regular rates during their breaks.
  • Requires 911 ambulance operators to maintain high staffing levels to provide coverage for breaks.
  • Requires training for certain emergency incidents related to active shooters, multiple casualties, natural disasters, and violence prevention.
  • Requires employers to provide employees mandatory mental health coverage, as well as yearly mental health and wellness training.
  • Retroactively prevents emergency employees from bringing claims pursuant to Augustus against ambulance service providers, including claims already pending.

Policy Considerations

Yes on Proposition 11 No on Proposition 11
  • Ensures 911 emergency will not be delayed because EMT’s always on-call.
  • Provides important additional training for emergency employees.
  • Increases efficacy of mental health services.
  • Negatively impacts labor union workers.
  • Excludes private sector emergency employees from labor law protections.
  • Allows ambulance companies to require workers to remain on-call during their breaks.

Analysis of Proposition 11 provided by Anupe Litt and David Witkin.

Ethics for Legislative Staff (transcript)

Today’s post is on ethics for legislative staff.

Just like California legislators, who are bound by laws and codes of conduct, there are also guides for the conduct of legislative staff as they serve these elected officials and the public. For example, the National Conference of State Legislatures – NCSL – has published a model code of conduct for legislative staff. This comprehensive guide is an invaluable resource for legislative staff across the country.

The purpose of this code of conduct is to provide guidance to legislative staff so that they can better serve the public and legislative branch of state government. These staffers are invaluable to the legislative process and the institution itself. But they are also public servants, just like the elected legislators for whom they work. And just like these legislators, staff too are there to carry out the mission of the Legislature. They have a relationship of trust to the institution and the public generally.

In that regard, staff must conduct themselves appropriately towards legislators, the public, lobbyists, and their fellow staff members. Any code of conduct must detail how legislative staff should conduct themselves so that the public trust is always protected. In addition to any code of conduct, there are relevant state laws that apply to staff such as the California Government Code that provides extensive guidance to public employees.

While many of the prohibitions in the Government Code may seem obvious, they are important for staff to keep in mind as they perform their valuable public service while working in the California State Legislature. In reviewing the NCSL’s model code, it provides a number of helpful guides to legislative staff.

For a more in depth discussion of Proposition 5, and the ten other initiatives on the ballot this November you can watch the forum in its entirety on YouTube or read the full analyses here. And keep your eyes peeled on The CAP⋅impact Podcast’s feed on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, or wherever you get your podcasts from for analysis of this year’s ballot initiatives in your headphones coming next week.

Proposition 5: Property Tax Transfer

Current Law

  • California allows homeowners who are over the age of 55, disaster victims, or individuals with severe disabilities to sell their residence and transfer the property tax to a new home.
  • However, there are a number of restrictions.
    • This property tax transfer can only be done once.
    • In most situations the transfer must be within the same county. However, if the Board of Supervisors of the receiving country allows inter-county transfers, then an individual can transfer their property tax to another county.
    • The replacement property is required to be of equal or lesser value.

Proposed Law

  • Proposition 5 would amend these restrictions for homeowners who are over the age of 55, disaster victims, or individuals with severe disabilities.
    • Removes the cap on number of times a property tax can be transferred.
    • A property tax could be transferred anywhere in the state.
    • The replacement property could be worth more than the original home.

Policy Considerations

Yes on Proposition 5 No on Proposition 5
  • By giving seniors an incentive to move, Prop. 5 will increase economic activity and open up much needed housing.
  • Seniors and individuals with severe disabilities cannot move out of inadequate housing due to the tax penalty they might face.
  • Disaster victims cannot move out of the county without facing a property tax penalty.
  • Annual property tax losses for cities, counties, and special districts of around $150 million in the near term, growing over time to $1 billion or more per year (in today’s dollars).
  • Annual property tax losses for schools of around $150 million per year in the near term, growing over time to $1 billion or more per year (in today’s dollars).
  • Increase in state costs for schools of an equivalent amount in most years.

Analysis of Proposition 5 provided by John Knobel and Meghan Shiner.

For a more in depth discussion of Proposition 12, and the ten other initiatives on the ballot this November you can watch the forum in its entirety on YouTube or read the full analyses here. And keep your eyes peeled on The CAP⋅impact Podcast’s feed on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, or wherever you get your podcasts from for analysis of this year’s ballot initiatives in your headphones coming next week.

Proposition 12 – Standards for Confinement of Specified Farm Animals; Bans Sale of Noncomplying Products

Current Law

  • California’s laws on animal cruelty are extensive, covering a wide range of behaviors and types of animals.
  • These concerns led to Proposition 12’s predecessor, Proposition 2 (2008), which targeted the treatment of farm animals.
  • Proposition 2 did not provide specific size requirements for the confinement of farm animals. The only standard it created was that farm animals “must be able to turn around freely, lie down, stand up and extend their limbs.”

Proposed Law

  • Proposition 12 amends the California Health and Safety Code and would address issues Proposition 2 did not address.
  • Proposition 12 sets specific space requirements for the confinement of egg-laying hens, breeding pigs, and calves raised for veal. These would be phased in over several years.
  • Starting in 2020, egg-laying hens would be required to have 1 square foot of floor space, and calves raised for veal would be required to have 43 square feet of floor space. Starting in 2022, egg-laying hens must be in cage-free housing, and breeding pigs would be required to have 24 square feet of floor space.
  • Proposition 12 would prohibit businesses from knowingly selling eggs, liquid eggs, uncooked pork, or veal that come from animals that are housed in ways that do not meet the new requirements.
  • Proposition 12 also provides two key changes to enforcement:
    • It requires the California Department of Food and Agriculture promulgate rules and regulations for the implementation of the act by September 1, 2019.
    • It provides that any person in violation of the act is guilty of a misdemeanor and is to be punished either by imprisonment or by paying a fine not to exceed $1000.

Policy Considerations

Yes on Proposition 12 No on Proposition 12
  • A YES vote means farmers would be required to provide more space for egg-laying hens, breeding pigs, and veal calves.
  • California businesses would be banned from selling eggs or uncooked pork or veal that came from animals housed in ways that did not meet these requirements.
  • Prop 12 is a necessary step towards ending cruelty against farm animals.
  • Prop 12 will reduce risk of food poisoning, lead to job growth, and sensibly strengthen anti-cruelty laws put forward by prior law.
  • A NO vote means the current law relating to space and businesses selling animal products remain the same.
  • Proposition 12 is deceiving voters because it would actually prolong the suffering of animals rather than relieve it.
  • California was supposed to be “cage-free” in 2015, and Proposition 12 simply prolongs the suffering of egg-laying hens since it extends the deadline to comply with the law.
  • Based on the language of the proposed standards, Proposition 12 will actually result in smaller confinement spaces rather than larger spaces.

Analysis of Proposition 12 provided by Anna Lisa Thomas and Kevin Bursey.

For a more in depth discussion of Proposition 7, and the ten other initiatives on the ballot this November you can watch the forum in its entirety on YouTube or read the full analyses here. And keep your eyes peeled on The CAP⋅impact Podcast’s feed on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, or wherever you get your podcasts from for analysis of this year’s ballot initiatives in your headphones coming next week.

Proposition 7: Daylight Saving Time

Current Law

  • In 1949, California voters adopted Proposition 12 an initiative titled “An Act Providing For Daylight Saving Time in the State of California.”
  • The key provisions established United States Standard Pacific Time as standard time within the state and provided that time advance one hour during a period from the last Sunday in April until the last Sunday in September.
  • The United States Congress passed the Uniform Time Act in 1966 to create daylight saving time nationwide, which effectively replaced the existing California law.
  • Currently under federal law, daylight saving time starts the second Sunday in March and ends the first Sunday in November.
  • Despite this fact that the existing language in the California Government Code still says that daylight saving time ends on the last Sunday in September, daylight saving time in California ends the first Sunday in November as required by federal law.
  • California’s current daylight saving time law, Daylight Saving Time Act of 1949, does not allow the California legislature to update the language in the current statute or ask the federal government to stop the twice per year time change with voter approval.

Proposed Law

  • The repeal of the Daylight Saving Time Act would allow the legislature to control changes to daylight saving because the voter initiative would be replaced by the proposed legislative initiative and no longer require voter approval to any daylight saving changes.
  • Proposition 7 updates California’s daylight saving time dates to be consistent with the federal Uniform Time Act.
  • Proposition 7 gives the California Legislature the power to ask Congress to allow California to go onto daylight saving time all year. The Legislature would need a two-thirds (2/3) vote to ask the federal government if California can change to have full-time daylight saving time, rather than changing the clocks in March and November.

Policy Considerations

Yes on Proposition 7 No on Proposition 7
  • Would allow the Legislature to update the current daylight saving language and to ask the federal government to have daylight saving time all year.
  • Does not guarantee that California would be able to stop changing the clocks because the Legislature may not ask the federal government for all year daylight saving time, or the federal government could say no.
  • The Legislature would not have to ask the voters for permission to change daylight saving laws in the future.
  • Would not change anything because California must follow the federal government’s daylight saving time rules.
  • The existing nonconforming language in the California Government Code would remain unchanged.
  • The Legislature would not have the ability to change daylight saving laws without voter approval in the future.

Analysis of Proposition 7 provided by Anna Lisa Thomas and Sarah Steimer.

Earlier this week, The National Law Review recently published the work of McGeorge Capital Lawyering adjunct professor Chris Micheli. You can find Micheli’s aritcle – A Review of 2018 Labor and Employment Legislation in California – here.

Micheli overviews the fourteen major labor and employment bills that were signed into law, as well as seven other significant pieces of legislation that made it through the Legislature but were ultimately vetoed by Governor Brown. Many of the bills that Micheli looks at are pieces of legislation inspired by the #MeToo movement that swept the nation as well as the We Said Enough movement that started here in California’s capital.

Chris Micheli – Attorney; Adjunct Professor, McGeorge School of Law; Principal, Aprea & Micheli

For a more in depth discussion of Proposition 6, and the ten other initiatives on the ballot this November, join us for the California Initiative Review Forum in the Lecture Hall at McGeorge School of Law TONIGHT from 5:30 – 7:30pm. If you cannot make it in person, you can watch the forum LIVE on McGeorge Capital Center for Law & Policy Facebook page and keep your eyes peeled on The CAP⋅impact Podcast’s feed on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, or wherever you get your podcasts from for analysis of this year’s ballot initiatives in your headphones.

Proposition 6: Voter Approval for Increase in Gas and Car Taxes

Current Law

  • SB 1, passed in 2017, increased the state funding for California’s transportation system.
  • It included a $0.12 increase in the gas excise tax which was effective November 2017, a transportation improvement fee that ranges from $25-$175 which was effective January 2018, a $0.20 increase in diesel excise tax effective in 2019, and a $100 fee on zero-emission vehicle registration effective in July 2020.
  • It is estimated that the revenue from these taxes will provide California approximately $4.4 billion this fiscal year.
  • The different fees and taxes from SB 1 will progressively take effect over the next few years and at full effect would produce $5.2-$5.4 billion annually, with two-thirds of that delegated specifically for maintenance and rehabilitation of local streets and roads as mandated by the California Constitution.

Proposed Law

  • Proposition 6 would amend the California Constitution to require voter approval for new or increased taxes on gasoline or diesel fuel and operational taxes.
  • Additionally it would effectively repeal SB 1, eliminating any gas or vehicle tax passed in 2017 through the date Proposition 6 would be passed.

Policy Considerations

Yes on Proposition 6 No on Proposition 6
  • A return of fuel and vehicle taxes to pre-2017 levels.
  • These taxes affect the middle and lower economic classes the most.
  • California is already expensive to live in and the SB 1 taxes make it even more expensive.
  • Requires majority voter approval for any new fuel and vehicle tax increases in the future.
  • Repealing SB 1 would cause the State to lose tax revenues of $2.4 billion within two years and $5.1 billion annually after that.
  • Over 6,500 transportations projects could lose funding.
  • California has a crumbling infrastructure and cutting the tax could exacerbate the problem.
  • Loss of project funding could lead to the loss of 68,000 project related jobs.
  • Breach of contract from lack of funding could lead to California having to pay the full contract price of cancelled contracts despite the work being halted.

Analysis of Proposition 6 provided by Meghan Shiner and Peter Leoni.