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California Legislative Directory| Classifieds | Sofa Degree
E-205 - Sunday, August 10, 2019
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RECENT AURAL PLEASURE:
- CAP:Impact Podcast (McGeorge School of Law): Chris Micheli - "Is the California Legislature a Bill Factory?" (2019-08-08)
- SacTownTalks by The Nooner (Gibran Maciel and Scott Lay): "What a Week!" (2019-08-05) [YouTube | Simplecast | iTunes]
- KQED'S Political Breakdown Podcast (Marisa Lagos and Guy Marzorati): Congressman Ro Khanna (D-Fremont) (2019-08-01)
- Look West Podcast (Assembly Democratic Caucus): Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath and Carlsbad City Councilmember and 3x Women’s World Longboard Surfing Champion, Cori Schumacher, discuss equal pay for equal play, and why gender pay inequity is still an issue in the world of sports (2019-07-23] [Look West | iTunes | Google Podcasts]
- Force of Law Podcast (Laurel Rosenhall @ CalMatters): episode four - "at the risks officers face on the job and why many in law enforcement say the final version of a bill to curb police shootings no longer puts them in greater danger" (2019-07-20)
UPDATED: Lawsuit information page for SB 27 (McGuire and Wiener): Primary elections: ballot access: tax returns.
IN TODAY'S NOONER:
- Seven Bills in Seven Days - AB 1639 (Gray): Tobacco products.
- New classifieds!
Happy Sunday! I'll be quick as we complete the 7 bills in 7 days we've been looking at preceding tomorrow's return of the Legislature for a final month of session this year. Tomorrow I will recap the ones covered over the week.
Here's the last of the seven bills that we'll be following closely through of the end of session. That of course doesn't mean that these are the only bills I'll be following and writing about, but these have interesting legislative politics ahead and that's what I am looking for.
SEVEN BILLS IN SEVEN DAYS
This series is a simplification of issues to illustrate the legislative process. They are not meant to be comprehensive analyses of all the issues raised by proponents and opponents, which would simply not be possible in the space allowed in The Nooner.
AB 1639 (Gray): Tobacco products.
Location: Assembly Health
Hearing date: Not set
Vote required: 2/3, as an urgency measure
Concurrence vote required? In house of origin. If susequently amended and approved by the Senate, it would return for a concurrence vote.
House of origin vote: None
Summary: This bill would, until January 1, 2023, ban the sales of flavored e-cigarettes at a tobacco retailer that allows entrance of persons under 21 years of age. The definition of "flavored" in the bill excludes menthol, mint, and tobacco flavors. The bill would limit the usage of certain advertising messages flavored e-cigarettes that appeal to youth. The bill further require would require all tobacco retailers to use age verification software or electronic device to verify the age of a person 21 or over.
Background: The growth of "vaping" among teens has drawn attention from parents, the media, and politicians. Several communities have adopted ordinances limiting the sales and use of flavored tobacco, including electronic cigarettes. JUUL, the market leader, has voluntarily pulled flavors other than menthol, mint, and tobacco from retail sales and now only sells them on a "age verified" web site. However, other brands continue to sell flavored varieties and the age verification process of retail tobacco sales is widely deemed to be insufficient.
Procedural background: This bill was a "gut and amend" from being introduced relating to alcoholic beverages to the current iteration regarding tobacco products. Because this occurred after house-of-origin deadline, it will require rule waivers throughout the process. In the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee, amendments were promised that would remove the penalties on youth caught purchasing of possessing tobacco products as well as that would ad additional advertising prohibitions for e-cigarettes to deter youth appeal. Those amendments are expected to be taken in Assembly Health.
Supporters include: This is unclear as some organizations, such as the California Medical Association, stated they were going to support with amendments taken in Governmental Organization Committee, but which are not yet in print.
Opponents include: American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Vapor Technology Association
The full list of supporters and opponents of the bill can be found in the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee analysis.
Supporters argue: Teen vaping should be cracked down on and while the industry has voluntarily taken many steps, there needs to be additional assurances that tobacco and tobacco-derivative products like e-cigarettes are not sold to minors at the retail level. E-cigarettes have provided an effective path for adults to transition to a non-combustible, safer alternative to conventional cigarettes. The state should proactively set a uniform standard rather than have local governments establish matrices of regulations that make little sense to retailers and end users.
Opponents argue: This bill is a charade clothed as a bill to crack down on youth tobacco use, but it really is to stop local efforts like those in San Francisco of banning flavored tobacco and e-cigarettes altogether. This bill specifically exempts JUUL's three most popular flavors--menthol, mint, and tobacco. This keeps the JUUL brand at all tobacco retailers and attracts youth.
Why this is Noonerifically interesting: If you're new to the issue, it might be best to catch up on my previous writings on the topic, including the campaign contributions of JUUL. I'm not going to re-write the entire story here.
The issue of flavored electronic cigarettes has been before the Legislature since the beginning of session and in previous years. This year, there were two bills, SB 38 (Hill) and AB 738 (McCarty) that, as introduced, would have banned the sale of flavored tobacco products, conventional and electronic. Senator Hill's bill passed Senate Health easily, but Assemblymember McCarty's bill was not set for a hearing in Assembly Governmental Organization under the new rule giving chairs that prerogative. Hill's bill was watered down in Senate Appropriations and threatened with further hostile amendments, Hill dropped the bill.
On July 2, Assemblymembers Adam Gray, Jordan Cunningham, and Robert Rivas gutted and amended AB 1639 on July 2 and the bill easily passed out of the Assembly G.O. Committee, which Gray chairs. However, the bill has a long journey to the Governor's desk by the September 13 end of this year's legislative work. Although it's first committee was easy, G.O. is far more favorable for the industry on tobacco issues than Assembly Health, to which this bill was also assigned.
Assembly Health chair Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) was a co-author of Senator Hill's SB 38. Barring a rule waiver that would cause rancor in the Democratic Caucus, his committee is the next see the bill. It is unclear how the committee would approach the bill. Since the bill requires deadline waivers in both houses, the regular deadlines don't really matter. It is also unclear how the bill would be received in Senate Health should it advance from the Assembly. That committee embraced SB 38, approving it on a 8-1 vote.
In advance of the 2020 election, Democrats and Republicans alike would like to cast a vote this year that is "cracking down" on youth access to and marketing of flavored e-cigarettes. The question is whether AB 1639 passes the political smell test as such an effort and whether the strongest voices on tobacco products within the Democratic caucuses are going to allow legislation with close ties to the industry to bypass the normal legislative process.
Meanwhile, JUUL, the biggest e-cigarette manufacturer in the industry which is 35% owned by Altria/Philip Morris, has made the following contributions between 01/01-6/30/2019. Arguably, the company benefits the most as it voluntarily pulled flavors other than menthol, mint and tobacco from retail shelves.
||CA VOTE PROJECT 2018
||FRIENDS OF FRANK BIGELOW FOR ASSEMBLY 2020
||GIPSON FOR ASSEMBLY
||GRAY FOR ASSEMBLY 2020
||ANDREAS BORGEAS FOR SENATE 2022
||DEVON MATHIS FOR ASSEMBLY 2020, DEVON MATHIS
||JAMES GALLAGHER FOR ASSEMBLY 2020
||MOORLACH FOR SENATE 2020
||GALLAGHER FOR ASSEMBLY 2020
||GROVE FOR SENATE 2022
||HERTZBERG FOR STATE CONTROLLER 2022
||JONES-SAWYER FOR ASSEMBLY 2020
||LING LING CHANG FOR SENATE 2020
||LACKEY FOR ASSEMBLY
||MELISSA MELENDEZ FOR ASSEMBLY 2020
||VALLEY COLUTIONS (ASSEMBLYMEMBER ADAM GRAY'S BALLOT MEASURE)
||VINCE FONG FOR ASSEMBLY 2020
||DEVON MATHIS FOR ASSEMBLY 2020
||MOORLACH FOR SENATE 2020
CAKEDAY and NEW CLASSIFIEDS after the jump...
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Digital Organizers, SEIU-UHW (Los Angeles and Oakland)
We are looking for a dynamic and effective Digital Organizers to help us build our online community and support our online-to-offline lead-generation efforts. In this position it is all about using new media and digital tools to organize, advocate on our issues, and increase member and community engagement with also providing personal one-on-one communications with people who are engaging SEIU-UHW. It is a public-facing position involving direct communication with our members, supporters, and the public via multiple online platforms. The ideal candidate has organizing or customer service experience, is already personally active on social media, and is passionate about things like ladders of engagement and moving people from online to offline activism (and vice versa). SEIU-UHW offers a competitive salary range of $56k - $102k to commensurate with experience and a generous benefit package. For more information and to apply please visit our candidate portal at http://seiuunitedhealthcareworkers.appone.com/.
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SEIU-UHW – Regional Political Organizer (Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA)
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Director of Legislative and Regulatory Advocacy, California Housing Partnership (Sacramento)
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Planned Parenthood; President & CEO (Sacramento)
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