This is the most dramatic attempt to date by unions and their political cronies to suppress the Fair and Open Competition movement that started in California and is sweeping the country. The bill was signed one day before the San Diego City Council was expected to place a measure on the June 2012 ballot for voters to enact a Fair and Open Competition measure in the City of San Diego. The Escondido City Council is also considering a model charter that includes a Fair and Open Competition provision. Well ahead of schedule, the Fair and Open Competition Sacramento campaign is 75% of the way toward its signature collection goal to qualify Fair and Open Competition ballot measures in the City of Sacramento and County of Sacramento.
Already people are responding with disbelief. An editorial in the Monday, October 3 San Diego Union-Tribune (Brown Signs a Dubious ‘Gut and Amend’ Bill) has this to say:
So Brown had three good reasons to veto SB 922: It is an assault on local governments’ authority; it was never truly debated or reviewed by the Legislature; and it was badly crafted. Nevertheless, he signed the bill Sunday, noting it isn’t as sweeping as critics have said and saying it will allow for further debate on PLAs. “Seems fair to me – even democratic,” the governor wrote.
Really? We doubt “democratic” is the adjective most observers would use to describe SB 922.
Created through a gut-and-amend action on September 2, Senate Bill 922 attempts to nullify local government “Fair and Open Competition” measures that establish a policy principle that the government shall not require its contractors to sign a Project Labor Agreement with unions as a condition of winning contracts to work on taxpayer-funded construction projects. It also attempts to interfere with charter cities’ local home rule authority for municipal affairs by trying to cut off state funding for projects in charter cities with such a policy.
Governor Brown Signs a Second Bill to Encourage Project Labor Agreements: On Friday, September 30, Governor Jerry Brown also signed Assembly Bill 436, which exempts certain local governments from paying labor compliance fees to the state if they require contractors to sign Project Labor Agreements with unions for construction. The California Department of Industrial Relations has already issued draft proposed regulations reflecting this policy.
Governor signs law barring blanket bans on labor friendly deals – San Diego Union-Tribune – October 3, 2011
Triumphant, threatening statement from the San Diego County Building and Construction Trades Council warning citizens about the power of SB 922 to cut off state funding and jeopardize local construction projects – October 3, 2011