Friday marked a deadline for Senate committees to report non-fiscal bills to the floor. The Assembly deadline was a week earlier. In a typical year, bills left behind would likely die in committee.

Lawmakers do have the ability to waive most deadlines for bills, and Democrats certainly have the votes to do so. At a time when all eyes are on the budget process and emergency measures, however, the political will may be lacking.

At the start of the legislative session, lawmakers introduced several bills related to pesticides, with some emerging as late as May.

Most of the bills are still listed as active. Yet one that would have required schools to disclose pesticide training for staff is now listed as “rescinded due to the shortened 2020 Legislative Calendar.”

The first pesticide bill to pass committee was on an upward trajectory. It proposed a five-fold increase in penalties for pesticide spray drift incidents. Once the pandemic hit, however, that momentum stalled. A bill that was similarly revived from an earlier measure took aim at the granular form of the insecticide chlorpyrifos. It never reached a committee vote.

When it comes to schools, bill that would add new layers to reporting pesticide use near schools was facing early opposition from ag groups, but never made it to committee either. Another bill would have helped schools transition to organic pesticides.

Friday was also the last day for a familiar name at the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR). Assistant Director of Communications Charlotte Fadipe spent seven years at DPR and is now shaking things up in a different way. Starting next week, she will lead communications at the California Earthquake Authority.

Top photo: Asm. Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, D-Orinda, authored AB 1919 on raising penalties for pesticide violations.

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