Legislative Session A Decidedly Mixed Bag For California Grocers


Contact: Dave Heylen, V.P. Communications California Grocers Association
Tel: 916.448.3545
Fax: 916.448.2793
E-mail: [email protected]

California Grocers Association
1415 L Street, Suite 450
Sacramento, CA 95814

Job Creating Bills Not A Top Priority

SACRAMENTO, CA — (October 10, 2011) – California Governor Jerry Brown took action on hundreds of bills over the weekend, with the results a very mixed bag for the retail grocery industry. Facing an October 9 deadline to sign or veto legislation, the Governor worked down to the wire on Sunday night with significant issues decided in the final hours.

“We are certainly disappointed at some of the Governor’s actions,” said Ron Fong, President & CEO of the California Grocers Association. “There is a lot of talk about job creation in California but clearly job creators were not a top priority in many instances. Several of the bills this Governor chose to sign will make it much more difficult for grocers to do business in California, to expand operations here and to increase the number of jobs they provide in this state.”

Those negative impacts include:

  • AB 22 (Mendoza) which essentially prohibits the use of pre-employment credit checks for all but managerial employees in the grocery industry.
  • AB 183 (Ma) which bans the sale of alcohol at assisted self-checkout terminals, making it significantly more difficult to deploy the popular technology and increasing labor costs in the industry.
  • AB 688 (Pan) which creates administrative and civil penalties for the presence of expired infant formula, baby food, and pharmaceuticals on store shelves. The bill sets up a “gotcha” scenario for grocers where anyone with an agenda can wreak havoc on a store through health department complaints and private litigation even though no harm to the public exists.

“On the other hand, the Governor did appear to listen on a handful of issues that are significantly important to grocers,” Fong noted in discussing the outcome of this year’s legislative session.

Among the Governor’s vetoes were the following bills:

  • SB 364 (Yee) which would have created financial penalties for companies accepting corporate tax credits or deductions and subsequently experiencing a reduction in workforce in California.
  • SB 931 (Evans) which would have significantly restricted the use of payroll cards in California.

The California Grocers Association is a non-profit trade association representing the food industry since 1898 and represents approximately 500 retail members operating over 6,000 stores in California and Nevada.