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Tuberculosis screening bill turns into union labor bill

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Posted: Saturday, September 24, 2011 12:00 am

One of the worst "gut and amend" bills created and railroaded through the California State Legislature during its shameful last week of the 2011 session was Senate Bill 922, a bill that crushes local government decisions concerning taxpayer-funded public works contracts.

At the direction of State Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John Perez, Senate Bill 922 changed from a bill about tuberculosis screening to a bill that gives unions greater control over taxpayer-funded construction.

The bill deprives local governments of their authority to enact and maintain "Fair and Open Competition" policies that ban requirements for cities and counties to sign union Project Labor Agreements.

Senate Bill 922 nullifies some of these local policies and also cuts off state funding for certain cities that have such policies.

For example, the bill cuts off state funding for construction in the city of Fresno. To preserve that funding, the Fresno City Council will be compelled to repeal its Fair and Open Competition policy, which has been in the city's municipal code since 2000.

Senate Bill 922 would nullify Stanislaus County's Fair and Open Competition policy and discourage San Joaquin or Fresno counties from enacting such a policy.

Senate Bill 922 is sponsored by the State Building and Construction Trades Council, an umbrella lobbying group for construction trade unions (such as the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the State Pipe Trades Council).

Fax Gov. Jerry Brown at 916-558-3160. Ask him to veto SB922.

Nicole Goehring

Government Affairs Director and Lodi resident

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