MOORLACH UPDATE — AB 1250 Labor Dominance — July 13, 2017

Assembly Bill 1250 was presented to the Senate Governance and Finance Committee yesterday morning (also see MOORLACH UPDATE — Who’s Your Daddy? — July 1, 2017 july 1, 2017 john moorlach).

This bill is supported by public employee unions who wish to continue their dominance in county functions. Here is a partial list of acknowledged supporters of the bill:

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
AFL-CIO (Sponsor)
California State Council of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

Orange County Employees Association

The list of those in opposition would fill a couple of pages, so I’ll spare you. But, they showed up to voice their concerns.

I advised the author that working with counties, their impacted nonprofit organizations that perform various services, and other contractors, would be the best way to obtain a proper form of balance on addressing the services that the state requires they perform.

There are times when employees can do a better job than having the services outsourced. I proved that when I served as the Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector for twelve years. But, always emphasizing the of hiring public employees is not the best way to perform the core responsibilities of government. This is especially true with the ever increasing costs of hiring government employees with their various above market benefits.

I mentioned that this week AFSCME filed a grievance against Western Michigan University because it hired a crew to clear land of poison ivy on the campus. AFSCME protested because it felt that it took jobs that supposedly belong to union workers. So, who did the University hire? A herd of goats, who could eat the poison ivy and other noxious weeds for a very low cost. See

I stated that with such pressure by public employee unions to dominate to this extreme, it reminded me of the phrase, "Who’s your Daddy?" That got a strong reaction from those in attendance. The Ventura County Star provides its perspectives in the piece below.

I opposed AB 1250 due the exemption of certain services in Santa Clara County (which includes the city of San Jose), an awkward and disingenuous technique used by the monopoly party to get the necessary votes for passage. And while the committee was lectured by the authors about how local government needed to move forward aggressively, what they failed to mention is that cities were also exempted from this bill. So, San Francisco County was also exempted. And a recent budget trailer bill exempted Marin County from providing affordable housing.

More importantly, I opposed it for the onerous costs it would place on the remaining 56 counties. California needs to observe Connecticut and Illinois, two failing states, and be proactive in the emphasis of pursuing more outsourcing wherever possible, not less. (See my Committee opening remarks at

Panel OK’s contracting bill in close vote

Kathleen Wilson

A state Senate panel OK’d a controversial bill Wednesday that would impose controls over outsourcing of county government jobs.

Voting 4-2 with one abstention, the Senate Governance & Finance Committee approved the bill staunchly supported by labor and adamantly opposed by leaders of county governments. County managers would have to prove that contracting is cheaper and as equitable as having public employees do the jobs under Assembly Bill 1250.

In Ventura County and around the state, managers of county governments say the legislation will inhibit their ability to provide vital public services, including health care and social programs.

The legislation does not ban contracting, but critics say it sets such onerous requirements that it would have that effect. The bill protects jobs and holds private agencies accountable, according to the Service Employees International Union, which is sponsoring the legislation.

In the Ventura County government, $445 million or 20 percent of the $2.24 billion budget this year goes to private contractors. They supply services ranging from medical care and counseling to cybersecurity, employing close to 1,500 people, officials said.

The legislation has already passed in the Assembly, but Wednesday’s vote marked the first hearing and vote by a panel in the Senate. If OK’d in the Senate Appropriations Committee and the full Senate, the bill would have to go back to the Assembly because it has been amended, county officials said.

Voting yes were Sens. Jim Beall, D-San Jose; Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina; Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens; and Robert Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys. Voting no were Sens. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, and Janet Nguyen, R-Garden Grove.

Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, abstained after expressing concerns about the ability of small, rural counties to comply with the bill.

Legislators suggested that the bill may be amended as it moves through the Senate to provide flexibility for rural areas and nonprofit agencies.

All California counties but San Francisco, which has a unified county-city government, would be covered by the bill. An exemption is also being entertained for health care services offered by Santa Clara County.

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