I have introduced new
legislation that will allow government agencies to contract out for supplies
and services with private business. Senate Constitutional Amendment (SCA) 11
will make government operations more affordable and efficient by encouraging
competition among private market service and equipment providers.
If you can find a
product or service in the Yellow Pages, the State of California should be using
those services rather than creating new bureaucracies at taxpayer expense. It’s
no secret that the private sector can do anything government does and usually
more efficiently, and at less cost.
While the State
Constitution does not explicitly outline a prohibition on contracting out,
previous legal rulings by the State Supreme Court have held that Article VII of
the Constitution limits contracting to work that cannot be performed by
employees hired under civil service procedures. The lone exceptions to this
rule are contracts signed for architectural and engineering services.
My legislation changes
this outdated rule and provides more clarity. It would allow the state, if prudent, to contract with outside, private
firms for services that are currently provided by the government.
SCA 11 contains many of
the findings cited by the Little Hoover Commission Report: "Too Many Agencies,
Too Many Rules." The report concluded that the State of California
"needs to find more cost-effective ways of doing business and it cannot be
precluded from looking to the private sector for that efficiency." The report
recommends that the Constitution be amended to remove any barriers to the state
to contract with private firms to do public work.
A similar report
compiled by the Reason
Foundation finds that thousands of national, state, and local
government agencies in the United States have successfully privatized scores of
services. Researchers have documented the successful privatization of airports,
electric and telecommunications utilities, prisons, transportation, and many
This is a key bill that
is designed to help the state operate more frugally without compromising work
quality. My bill will promote accountability, increase efficiency and motivate
and maintain a highly skilled work force.
Senator Huff serves
as the Senate Republican Caucus Chair and represents portions of Los Angeles,
Orange and San Bernardino Counties.