BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                    AB 1039

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          Date of Hearing:  April 29, 2015


                                Henry T. Perea, Chair

          AB 1039  
          (Committee on Agriculture) - As Amended April 21, 2015

          SUBJECT:  Fertilizing materials: violations: administrative  
          penalties: filing of final judgment.

          SUMMARY:  Authorizes the California Department of Food and  
          Agriculture (CDFA), in regards to violations of the fertilizer  
          law, to administer an administrative penalty rather than a civil  
          penalty, and file the final decision directing payment with the  
          superior court clerk; requires the court to enter the judgment  
          immediately and at no costs.

          EXISTING LAW makes it a crime for a person to manufacture or  
          distribute in the state a fertilizing material without complying  
          with specific laws; requires CDFA to levy a civil penalty  
          against a person who violates these laws in an amount of not  
          more than $5,000 for each violation;  requires a person, against  
          whom a civil penalty is levied, to be afforded an opportunity  
          for a hearing, as provided; and, authorizes these penalties to  
          be recovered in a civil action brought in the name of the state.

          FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown.  Legislative Counsel has keyed this  
          bill fiscal.


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          COMMENTS:  CDFA is charged with the oversight for fertilizers  
          used in California for both commercial and residential purposes.  
           In 2009 this program was revamped and enhanced to address  
          concerns of mislabeling of organic fertilizer products, which  
          included additional registration of products, manufacturing  
          sites, product testing, and larger penalties for violations.

          Due to most county district attorneys having very full criminal  
          prosecution schedules, many violations of the Food and  
          Agricultural Code don't get handled.  It has been the policy of  
          the Legislature in recent years to adopt similar provisions for  
          direct adjudication with the courts for various violations  
          enforced by CDFA and the county agricultural commissioners  
          (CAC).  The policy concern raised legislatively has been that  
          'due process' is followed and an 'appeal' option is made  
          available to the violator.  These requirements have been  
          followed and are included in this proposal.

          RELATED LEGISLATION: AB 689 (Dodd), 2015 Session, increases the  
          fine for a violation of shell egg marketing regulations (SEMR)  
          from a maximum of $1,000 to a maximum of $10,000 and authorizes  
          CAC, in lieu of prosecution, to levy civil penalties for a  
          violation of SEMR.  Passed Assembly Agriculture and  
          Appropriations Committees; currently pending Assembly Floor  

          AB 383 (Wagner), Chapter 76, Statutes of 2013, among other  
          provisions, added provisions dealing with slaughtered animal  
          violations to permit CDFA, in lieu of civil action, to levy  
          civil penalties not to exceed $5,000, to provide notification,  
          appeal and judgment procedures, as specified, and to file  
          judgment with the clerk of the superior court at no costs.

          AB 2378 (Huber), Chapter 303, Statutes of 2012, increased civil  
          and criminal fines for specified violations relating to the  


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          transport and recordkeeping of inedible kitchen grease;  
          authorized CDFA, in lieu of seeking civil prosecution, to levy  
          civil penalties for violations in an specified  amount; and,  
          provided administrative hearing and appeal process for persons  
          upon whom a civil penalty is levied. 

           AB 2686 (Agriculture), Chapter 395, Statutes of 2010, allowed  
          CAC to file a certified copy of a final decision with the court  
          that directs the payment of a civil penalty pursuant to  
          violations of the California Organic Products Act of 2003, and,  
          if applicable, a copy of any order that denies a petition for a  
          writ of administrative mandamus; and, required the court to  
          enter judgment immediately upon that filing and at no cost.



          None on file


          None on file

          Analysis Prepared by:Jim Collin / AGRI. / (916) 319-2084


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