BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                            2015 - 2016  Regular  Session

          AB 384 (Perea) - Food safety
          
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          |Version: February 18, 2015      |Policy Vote: HEALTH 7 - 1       |
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          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: Yes                    |
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          |Hearing Date: August 17, 2015   |Consultant: Brendan McCarthy    |
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          This bill meets the criteria for referral to the Suspense File.

          Bill  
          Summary:  AB 384 would eliminate the sunset on the provision of  
          law imposing a $100 fee on most food processors and authorizing  
          the Department of Public Health to use the resulting revenue to  
          support education and training programs for food processors.


          Fiscal  
          Impact:  Ongoing costs of $640,000 per year for the Department  
          of Public Health to provide education and training to food  
          processors on safe handling of food products, fully offset by  
          fee revenues (Food Safety Fund).


          Background:  Under current law, food processors must register with the  
          Department of Public Health and are subject to regulation by the  
          Department to protect the public health. As part of the  
          registration process, food processors pay a fee to the  
          Department to cover the costs of regulation. In addition, food  
          processors pay an additional $100 fee (excluding certain small  
          food processors) which is used to fund a program through which  
          the Department provides education and training to food  







          AB 384 (Perea)                                         Page 1 of  
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          processors on safe handling of foods. The authority to impose  
          the $100 fee and implement the training program sunsets on  
          January 1, 2016.


          Proposed Law:  
            AB 384 would eliminate the sunset on the provision of law  
          imposing a $100 fee on most food processors and authorizing the  
          Department of Public Health to use the resulting revenue to  
          support education and training programs for food processors.


          Staff  
          Comments:  The program extended by this bill was first  
          established by AB 1559 (Cardoza, Statutes of 1997) with a  
          statutory sunset that has been extended several times since  
          then. This bill would eliminate the statutory sunset, making the  
          program permanent.
          The recently enacted 2015-16 Budget Act authorizes four  
          additional positions at the Department of Public Health to  
          increase            enforcement activities relating to food  
          processors. These positions will be funded from a $3.3 million  
          judgment against a food processor for violations of the state's  
          food safety regulations.


          The only costs that may be incurred by a local agency relate to  
          crimes and infractions. Under the California Constitution, such  
          costs are not reimbursable by the state.




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