Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday announced signing union-backed legislation aimed at making personal services contracts more transparent to unions.
Assemblyman Richard Pan's measure originally limited so-called "personal services contracts" to two years with no more than one two-year extension. Unions rallied at the Capitol in support of the measure, arguing that the state spends billions of dollars on contract workers at far greater cost than hiring more state employees.
The legislation that Brown signed today is a far less aggressive measure than the one labor interests wanted. Assembly Bill 906 requires that departments merely notify affected unions before they execute a contract for personal services.
Lawmakers removed Pan's time-limit and contract-renewal provisions from the bill. The state may also sidestep the disclosure provision if the services are "necessary due to a sudden and unexpected occurrence that poses a clear and imminent danger, requiring immediate action to prevent or mitigate the loss or impairment of life, health, property, or essential public services."
Still, Pan and AFSCME declared victory in a press release that the Sacramento Democrat's office issued Friday afternoon, quoting union Assistant Director Willie Pelote as saying the new law "will help us build a system of oversight that California needs to prevent overspending on private contractors."