It’s already been quite the legislative year and we’re only barely reaching the end of the first half of 2015. On the positive side, vapor products were removed from AB 768 and SB 24 has met an unfortunate end after coming out of the Senate Appropriations Committee “suspense files”. Which means we are now actively monitoring AB 216 and dealing with SB 140.
Yesterday, SB 140 (Leno) got referred to the Assembly Governmental Organization (e.g. G.O.) Committee and currently we presume it to be scheduled on their agenda on July 8th, 2015. If you plan on attending the hearing, which we most certainly would encourage, please reserve that date and we will let you know as soon as we have a confirmation of the agenda.
Unfortunately, if the hearing will be set for July 8th, Stefan Didak will not be able to be present that day but as luck (and planning ahead!) would have it, our latest addition to the Northern California Chapter of SFATA’s leadership, Erick Beall, will be stepping in. Erick is an excellent speaker and as our Legislative Advisor understands the task at hand and the process involved.
There have been no changes to the bill so we would like to remind everyone of some of the things that this bill seeks to enact;
- Defines vapor products as tobacco products (i.e. equate cigarettes with e-cigarettes).
- Attempts to include products defined as “nicotine” regardless of source.
- Public use prohibition (no vaping where smoking is prohibited, public parks, etc.)
- Change in how vaping can be prohibited in rental, lease, multi-unit apt. dwellings, etc.
- No vaping in workplaces (including vape shops)
- No more “self service” (unassisted) handling products or sampling liquids/flavors.
- No exemptions for vapor retailers to allow vaping in their stores.
- No vaping in group homes, small family homes, transitional housing, or by foster families.
- No vaping in a motor vehicle with a minor present, whether in motion or at rest.
If you are a constituent of any of the Committee Members, which you can find on the list below, please consider calling them to express your concerns about SB140 and ask that they VOTE NO on the bill.
Please consider also asking for an appointment with your elected officials in order to express your concerns in person. There is an extremely high value of engaging in actual face to face meetings and are considered much more effective than calling or sending letters. We understand that not everyone will be able to do this. But at the very least you make a phone call or send a letter.
Adam Gray (Chair), District 21: Merced, (209)-726-5465
Eric Linder (Vice-Chair), District 60: Corona, (951)-371-6860
Katcho Achadjian, District 35: San Luis Obispo, (805)-549-3381
Luis Alejo, District 30:Watsonville/Salinas, (831)-759-8676
Franklin Bigelow, District 5: O’Neals, (209)-223-0505
Nora Campos, District 27:San Jose, (408)-277-1220
Ken Cooley, District 8: Rancho Cordova, (916)-464-1910
Jim Cooper, District 9: Elk Grove, (916)-262-0999
Tom Daly, District 69: Anaheim, (714)-939-8469
Cristina Garcia, District 58: Bell Gardens, (562)-861-5803
Eduardo Garcia, District 56: Coachella, (760)-347-2360
Mike Gipson, District 64: Carson, (310)-233-1201
Roger Hernandez, District 48: West Covina, (626)-960-4457
Reginald Jones-Sawyer, District 59: Los Angeles, (213)-744-2111
Marc Levine, District 10: San Rafael, (415)-479-4920
Chad Mayes, District 42: Yucca Valley, (760)-674-0164
Henry Perea, District 31: Fresno, (559)-445-5532
Rudy Salas, District 32: Bakersfield, (559)-585-7170
Marc Steinorth, District 40: Rancho Cucamonga, (909)-466-9096
Marie Waldron, District 75: Escondido, (760)-480-7570
Scott Wilk, District 38:Santa Clarita, (661)-286-1565
For a complete list of mailing addresses for the Committee Members, please see the published list on the Assembly GO website.
It is crucial that you take the time to contact the Committee Members and explain to them the economic impact this bill would have on your business, the sales tax you are paying, your employees that amy end up being unemployed, and how enforcement of this bill may not work in practice the way Senator Leno believes it to be possible.
When confronted with the myth that is consistently being perpetrated by Senator Leno, that “the industry argued in favor of being regulated as tobacco products”, feel free to let your elected officials know that this is a false misinterpretation of the case of Sottera, Inc. vs. the FDA. Your business was NOT a plaintiff in this case and your business did not argue to be regulated as tobacco products.
Please ensure your customers are aware of SB140 and encourage them to express their concerns as well. Please pass along this information and the list of Committee Members to them along with the short summary of how SB140 will impact their experience as a consumer.
Contact your elected officials now. Don’t wait. Don’t put it off.
On behalf of NorCal SFATA,