As we have seen again in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harveyand Irma, Americans are the world’s most charitable people. From food banks and religious groups, to the Red Cross andHabitat for Humanity, our people help out those most in need.
I also can speak from experience as a county treasurer and supervisor that nonprofits provide crucial services to the poorestand least among us in our communities. Many of these charities are hired by local governments for their expertise, excellence and reasonable cost.
That’s why I believe Assembly Bill 1250 in its current form could cripple local county and non-profit budgets, meaning less help for those who need it most. Authored by Assemblymember Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer Sr., D-Los Angeles, the bill prohibits a county from contracting out for services “customarily” performed by county workers unless 14complicated requirements are met, including:
- Contracting out must not “significantly undercut county pay rates,” meaning for unionized workers. That would defeatthe whole purpose of trying to save the taxpayers’ money while providing better services.
- “The contract does not cause the displacement of county employees,” which basically would ban outsourcing.
The analysis by the Senate Committee on Governance and Finance found the bill is “likely a de facto prohibition” on contracting out charitable services.
It’s no wonder AB 1250 is opposed by such notable charities as the California Association of Food Banks, the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, Advent Group Ministries, the California Catholic Conference, Jewish Family Services of San Diego and United Ways of California.
One of the issues I have worked on most as a county supervisor and state senator is the homelessness crisis. This bill would significantly undercut efforts to help those without stable housing and long-term shelter. That’s why opposition also comes from the Family Health and Support Network Inc., the County Behavioral Health Directors Association of Californiaand the County Welfare Directors Association of California.
Another major issue I’ve been addressing for the last 18 years is excessive retirement benefit costs for public employees. The private sector and nonprofit communities do not provide Rolls-Royce-type defined benefit pension plans for their employees because of the high potential costs.
Now government wants to gobble up all the jobs and pay higher wages and benefits? Where is the justice in this power grab? Who runs our government? The taxpayers or public-employee union leaders?
By preventing ways for counties to deliver services to the needy more efficiently and cost-effectively, more burdens will be put on state government to solve the problems of homelessness and poverty.
That also will crimp state budgets, with critical areas getting less funding, at a time Gov. Jerry Brown and many others are warning a recession could strike strike – which also would add to the number of the poor and needy.
I urge my fellow senators to reject AB 1250.
John Moorlach, a Costa Mesa Republican, represents the state’s 37th Senate district. He can be contacted at email@example.com.