Van Nuys, Calif. – Later this month, the California State Legislature will take up a bill that would effectively ban a county’s ability to contract with personal service providers, including non-profit organizations and health care providers. This poorly conceived and hugely damaging bill will restrict counties’ abilities to contract for a wide variety of vital services upon which many members of our local community depend.
Assembly Bill 1250 is authored by Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer, and will be before the Assembly Appropriations Committee when the Legislature reconvenes from Summer Recess on Monday, August 21.
“Simply put, this bill is a ham-handed attempt to force all services to be provided directly by county employees,” VICA President Stuart Waldman said. “The bill’s sponsors don’t have the taxpayers’ or service users’ interests at heart. AB 1250 will be harmful to taxpayers and local residents who pay for and rely on these services. It will hurt non-profits and small, minority-owned businesses all over California.”
The intent of the egregious bill is clear: to increase the number of public employees, who would be members of unions, rather than looking to outside services that could be more cost-effective. AB 1250 directly cripples California counties’ ability to deliver services to its most vulnerable citizens by making it virtually impossible to contract with local nonprofits. This bill would impose new burdens on counties, non-profit organizations and health care providers in order to discourage these types of successful partnerships.
With generous pensions and other benefits, county employees are more costly than some personal service providers. In addition, it is harder to reduce costs during a recession or due to fluctuating demand when all services are provided directly by counties. Counties rely on cost-effective partnerships with privately owned entities to deliver services that the county may not have the expertise or capacity to provide directly.
Unions sponsoring this bill are attempting to increase the number of county employees without considering the impact on core services which are critical to residents, such as health and social services.
In addition, AB 1250 places significant new burdens on county contractors, including releasing detailed monthly information on their subcontractors, personal information on employees, and compensation rates. This information will be subject to the California Public Records Act. This raises privacy concerns and will drive up costs for contractors and, by extension, taxpayers.
Leaders in local government should be free to find the best, most cost-effective services for their constituents without burdensome red tape imposed by the State Legislature.
The mission of the Valley Industry & Commerce Association (VICA) is to enhance the economic vitality of the greater San Fernando Valley region by advocating for a better business climate and quality of life. Visit www.vica.com for more information.