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AB-778 Institutional purchasers: purchase of California-grown agricultural products.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 04/05/2021 09:00 PM
AB778:v97#DOCUMENT

Revised  April 15, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 05, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 16, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 778


Introduced by Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia Members Eduardo Garcia, Mathis, and Robert Rivas
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Cooper)(Coauthors: Assembly Members Cooper, Mayes, Medina, and Salas)
(Coauthor: Senator Hurtado)

February 16, 2021


An act to amend Section 58595 of the Food and Agricultural Code, relating to agricultural products.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 778, as amended, Eduardo Garcia. Institutional purchasers: purchase of California-grown agricultural products.
Existing law requires all California state-owned or state-run institutions, except public universities and colleges and school districts, to purchase an agricultural product grown in California when the bid or price of the California-grown agricultural product does not exceed by more than 5% the lowest bid or price for an agricultural product produced outside the state and the quality of the California-grown agricultural product is comparable. Existing law also requires the institutions, when they solicit or intend to accept a bid or price for agricultural products grown outside the state, to accept the bid or price from a vendor that packs or processes these agricultural products in the state before accepting a bid or price from a vendor that packs or processes these agricultural products outside of the state when specified conditions are met, including that the bid or price of the agricultural product grown outside the state and packed or processed in the state does not exceed by more than 5% the lowest bid or price for the agricultural product packed or processed outside the state. Existing law requires a school district that solicits bids for the purchase of an agricultural product to accept a bid or price for that agricultural product when it is grown in California before accepting a bid or price for an agricultural product that is grown outside the state when the bid or price of the California-grown agricultural product does not exceed the lowest bid or price for an agricultural product produced outside the state and the quality of the California-grown agricultural product is comparable. Under existing law, these provisions only apply to a contract to purchase agricultural products for a value that is less than the value of the threshold for supplies and services for which California has obligated itself under the Agreement on Government Procurement of the World Trade Organization.
This bill would instead require all California state-owned or state-run institutions, including public universities and colleges and school districts, that purchase agricultural products to only purchase an agricultural product grown in California unless the agricultural product is not currently in season in California and available from an in-state grower or is not grown in the state. In the instance when one of these institutions purchases an agricultural product grown outside of the state, the bill would require the institution to provide a specified preference to agricultural products grown in the country over agricultural products grown outside of the country. The bill would eliminate the above-described preference for in-state vendors. The bill would eliminate the provision that limits the application of these preferences to contracts to purchase agricultural products for a value that is less than the value of the above-described threshold. The bill would exempt agricultural products provided to a California state-owned or state-run institution by the United States Department of Agriculture through the Foods in Schools program from these preferences. The bill would define “agricultural product” for purposes of these provisions as fruits, tree nuts, peanuts, vegetables, melons, potatoes, meat from livestock, eggs, or dairy products. The bill would require the California State Auditor to investigate violations of these provisions. By creating new duties for school districts and community college districts, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares both of the following:
(a) Farmers in this state produce fruits, vegetables, nuts, and meat from animal livestock in accordance with the state’s pesticide, labor, and minimum wage laws.
(b) Complying with these state laws increases costs but provides real benefits to the health of consumers, to the environment, and to the workers who produce these goods.

SEC. 2.

 Section 58595 of the Food and Agricultural Code is amended to read:

58595.
 (a) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), all California state-owned or state-run institutions, including public universities and colleges and school districts, that purchase agricultural products shall only purchase an agricultural product that is grown in the state.
(2) (A) A California state-owned or state-run institution, including public universities and colleges and school districts, may purchase an agricultural product when it is grown outside of the state if the agricultural product is not currently in season in California and available from an in-state grower, or is not grown in the state.
(B) An institution that solicits bids for the purchase of an agricultural product pursuant to this paragraph shall accept a bid or price for that agricultural product when it is grown in this country before accepting a bid or price for an agricultural product that is grown outside the country when the bid or price of the domestically grown agricultural product does not exceed by more than 25 percent the lowest bid or price for an agricultural product grown outside the country.
(b) This section does not apply to agricultural products provided to a California state-owned or state-run institution, including public universities and colleges and school districts, by the United States Department of Agriculture through the Foods in Schools program.
(c) The California State Auditor shall investigate violations of this section.
(d) For purposes of this section, “agricultural product” means fruits, tree nuts, peanuts, vegetables, melons, potatoes, meat from livestock, eggs, or dairy products.

SEC. 3.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.
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REVISIONS:
Heading—Lines 1 and 2.
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