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The Anti-Union ABC is Wasting Taxpayer Time, Forcing California to Draft a Law that Enforces Another They Already Passed

Hearings are approaching on California Senate Bill 829, legislation aimed at enforcing an already-passed law dictating that local governments can not receive state funding for construction if they enact a blanket ban on Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) for public works.

Last year, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 922, disqualifying local governments from state funding when they ban PLAs. The measure was supported by unions who seek to ensure local hire, diversity, safety and wage standards on large-scale constructions projects. Several municipalities, including some as large as San Diego, spent 2011 trying to ban PLAs with guidance from the staunchly anti-union business lobby, the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). From our piece on SB 922 as it approached:

Recently, the San Diego region has been impacted by falsely-labeled “fair and open competition” initiatives in the cities of San Diego, Escondido and El Cajon. These controversial measures are regulatory bans on PLAs that unfairly prohibit a public agency from even considering a PLA, even if taxpayers derive efficiencies similar to the private sector. Last week, paid signature gatherers have submitted a petition to the City Clerk in the city of San Diego, after repeatedly misleading voters about the measure.

SB922 is a true vision of fair and open competition, opening the toolbox of competition based on merit, not the force of the ballot-box bully. Public agencies across the region, and the state, will at last be free to choose, whether or not to enter into a PLA, on a project-by-project basis.

Now, ABC attorneys are suggesting that the language of Senate Bill 922 allows for exemptions and that certain PLA bans could stand the legal test. It does not, but the language of SB 829 is apparently going to make it more clear than ever that no construction funding from the state can go to local entities that have such bans in place.


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