Jeff Jensen Southwest Headshot
Jeff Jensen
Southwest regional representative

Prior to joining the GCSAA staff, Jeff spent more than a decade in the golf industry in management and marketing. He resides in Henderson, Nev.
Tel. 800-472-7878, ext. 3603.

Field staff report

Neonic bills highlight legislative sessions in Southwest Region

by Jeff Jensen | Mar 27, 2023

Arizona, Hawaii, and Nevada file use bills on Neonics while California seeks out reevaluation of neonics on turf and ornamental uses

Neonicotinoid bills highlight the 2023 legislative dockets in Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada.  Arizona, Hawaii and Nevada are bills on the usage of the products while California’s bill allows for a reevaluation of the products on turf and ornamental use.

Arizona SB 1357 would prohibit the use of all neonic products in the state.  With the Arizona Senate and House still controlled by Republicans its expected that the bill will not advance out of committee. 

In California, AB 363 would require the California DPR, by July 1, 2024, to publish a reevaluation of the latest science regarding the impacts of neonicotinoid pesticides, as defined, on pollinating insects, aquatic ecosystems, and human health when used for the nonagricultural protection of outdoor ornamental plants, trees, and turf, and, by July 1, 2026, to adopt regulations governing that use that are necessary to protect the health of honeybees, native bees, and other pollinating insects, aquatic ecosystems, and human health. 

While the California golf industry doesn’t oppose the reevaluation, we do oppose the change to the assessment protocol (from risk-based assessment to hazard-based) as well as the potential influence, interference, and timeline of the legislature on the outcome of the reevaluation.  It is not the place of legislature to circumvent the established regulatory process.  Comments have been filed requesting that the bill be based on a risk assessment without undue outside interference from legislature. 

Hawaii (SB 1009 and accompanying HB 251) would make neonics restricted use products in the state.  As most golf course superintendents are certified applicators licensed by the state, the restricted use will have a minimal affect on operations, but it will create more administrative work for our industry as well as allowing the legislature to once again circumvent established regulatory processes established by the Hawaii and Department of Agriculture. 

In Nevada, AB 162 would ban neonic use on turf and ornamental uses.  Agriculture has been exempted from and AB 162 specifically targets turf and ornamental use, even if the end user is a certified applicator.  Comments in opposition to the bill have been submitted. 

The last bills that we will be closely following this legislative season are California AB 460 and accompanying SB 389. These bills would create new administrative enforcement processes that would allow the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) to make binding determinations on water rights.  Significantly, AB 460 in particular would grant interested parties the right to file petitions for the SWRCB to impose restrictions on water rights that could significantly limit or eliminate a diverter’s ability to exercise those rights.  Collectively, both bills would undermine existing legal protections for pre-1914 and riparian water rights and result in significant changes to how California’s water rights system is administered.

More information as well as action alerts (where warranted) will be forthcoming as the bills stall or advance through committee.  For more information & updates follow this blog or visit



  • Madeline M Francis, Class C, Carefree
  • Charlie W Pense, Class C, Scottsdale


  • Jonathan H Briggs, Class S, San Luis Obispo
  • Simon Oliver, Class C, Newport Coast


  • Clay S McKinley, formerly (A) at The Club at Las Campanas, is now (A) at Pueblo Del Sol Country Club in Sierra Vista


  • Christopher Bien, formerly (B) at PGA West Greg Norman Course, is now (B) at PGA West Private Golf Courses in La Quinta
  • Gary A Bley, formerly (C) at Pauma Valley Country Club, is now (C) at The Grand Golf Club in San Diego
  • Cavin Brown, formerly (A) at Seascape Golf Club, is now (A) at Saratoga Country Club in Saratoga
  • Javier Campos, formerly (C) at California Golf Club of San Francisco, is now (B) at California Golf Club of San Francisco in South San Francisco
  • Jason M Decker, formerly (SW) at Michigan State University, is now (SW) at Shady Canyon Golf Club in Irvine
  • David T Gutierrez, formerly (C) at El Camino Country Club, is now (C) at Dad Miller Golf Course in Anaheim
  • Brynly C Marsh, formerly (B) at Maroon Creek Club, is now (B) at Vineyard at Escondido in Escondido
  • Sean O'Brien CGCS, formerly (A) at Hawk's Landing Golf Club, is now (A) at Target Speciality Products in San Marcos
  • John J Oles, formerly (AS) at Morro Bay Golf Course, is now (AS) at Dairy Creek Golf Course in San Luis Obispo
  • Timothy Phelan, formerly (C) at Maroon Creek Club, is now (C) at South Course at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla
  • Geoffery Plovanich, formerly (B) at The Olympic Club, is now (B) at City & County of San Francisco in San Francisco
  • Roger Robarge CGCS, formerly (A) at California Golf Club of San Francisco, is now (A) at Valley Club of Montecito in Santa Barbara
  • Ryan Zuehlsdorf, formerly (A) at Monarch Bay Golf Club, is now (A) at Oakhurst Country Club in Clayton

Upcoming events

Upcoming events in the region. This is not necessarily a comprehensive list. If you have an addition to make, please reach out.

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Southwest2017This region includes Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada.