California milk cap.
August 3, 2020

Judge Denies California Quota Petition Vote

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

Last week, California Administrative Law Judge Timothy Aspinwall denied a petition to conduct a referendum on California’s dairy Quota Implementation Plan (QIP).

The denial, however, is just a recommendation to California Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross on whether to hold the referendum. She has 30 days to make her decision.

It all gets quite complicated, but Judge Aspinwall’s decision essentially came down to the dictionary’s definition of the word “be,” says Geoff Vanden Heuvel, director of Regulatory and Economic Affairs for the California Milk Producers Council. In the end, the Judge ruled that any effort to “suspend, amend or terminate the QIP must adhere to a two-step process…” To read the 29-page ruling, click here.

Yet another hearing was held last Friday to hear oral arguments on a petition brought by STOP QIP challenging the validity of the process that the California Department of Agriculture used to create QIP in the first place, says Vanden Heuvel. The presider in this case, Superior Court Judge James Arguelles, had released a Partial Tentative Ruling the day before that Vanden Heuvel says signaled he disagreed with the petitioners’ position.

The hearing last Friday was held to allow both sides to make their arguments. The only consensus reached was that the California Legislature kind of mucked up the effort in creating QIP and was “not a model of clarity.” Arguelles said he would issue a final ruling within the next few weeks.

For more detailed information on both rulings, click here.