Visits provide a chance to re-engage with lawmakers following the pandemic and discuss bills under consideration this legislative session
The California Alliance for Golf (CAG) visited the state capitol in Sacramento on March 29 to meet with key legislators and their staff to discuss issues and bills affecting the state golf industry.
CAG lobbyist Tony Rice set up the visits which included stops with State Senator Susan Rubio, Assemblywoman Rubio Blanco, Angela Mapp and Hank Dempsey from the Assembly Local Government Committee, Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, Assembly Water Committee Chief Consultant Pablo Garcia, Alf Brandt from Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon’s office, State Senator Steven Bradford and Assemblyman Greg Wallis.
While the main focus of the visits was to re-establish CAG with legislators in California following the pandemic, a number of bills that could have a potential impact on the golf industry were discussed including AB 1590, AB 460 and SB 389.
AB 1590 is a complex and highly confusing bill aimed at resorts with 300 or more rooms that operate a golf course on site and are located in a coastal zone. While the bill has numerous components, the main concern for golf is a pesticide and fertilizer ban on golf courses as well as the resort property. The bill as currently amended would affect very few facilities, but the long-term consequences could be more impactful as the legislature and environmental groups may go after all golf courses located in the coastal zone.
AB 460 and SB 389 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.
Those in attendance at the visits included CAG President Jim Ferrin, Mike Kelly, Craig Kessler and Kevin Fitzgerald from the Southern California Golf Association, Tom Rice from the San Francisco Alliance for Public Golf, Matt Rogers from the Southern California PGA, Emmy Moore Minister from Doctors Orders: Play Golf, Len Dumas from the Northern California PGA and me.
CAG is a non-profit corporation serving as the unified voice for the golf industry in California. It is an umbrella trade organization spanning the state to protect and promote the golf industry at local, regional, and national levels. CAG educates decision-makers on the importance of the game and the industry to California. More information is available at https://cagolf.org/.