BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    AB 1039


                                                                    Page  1





          Date of Hearing:  May 13, 2015


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS


                                 Jimmy Gomez, Chair


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


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          |Policy       |Agriculture                    |Vote:|9 - 0        |
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          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  NoReimbursable:  No


          SUMMARY:


          This bill authorizes the Department of Food and Agriculture  
          (DFA) to assess administrative penalties, instead of civil  
          penalties, for violations of the fertilizer law, and file final  
          decisions directing payment with the superior court.  The bill  
          requires the court to enter judgment immediately and at no  
          costs, and includes standard DFA appeal procedures.


          FISCAL EFFECT:


          Likely administrative cost savings to DFA as a result of  








                                                                    AB 1039


                                                                    Page  2





          streamlined administrative fine process, potential revenue gains  
          from improvements in fine collections.


          COMMENTS:


          Purpose.  According to the committee, many district attorneys  
          devote only limited resources to prosecuting violations of the  
          Food and Agriculture Code, focusing instead on other crimes.  In  
          2009, oversight of fertilizers was vested with DFA, and the  
          program was revised to address concerns regarding mislabeling  
          organic fertilizers, manufacturing sites, product testing, and  
          penalties for violations.


          This bill streamlines the process for DFA to allow direct  
          enforcement with standard appeals processes, converting the  
          civil penalties to administrative penalties and bypassing the  
          initial court procedures.





          Analysis Prepared by:Joel Tashjian / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081