Governor Brown signs law(s) to protect PLAs from local bans

While you were sleeping over the weekend, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a labor-sponsored bill designed to protect project labor agreements from blanket bans imposed by local officials or initiatives. The SacBee report notes: Senate Bill 922, by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, was a last-minute “gut-and-amend” measure that cleared the Legislature in the final hours of the session last month on party-line votes, with Republicans opposed.

Pushed by building trades unions and opposed by contractors, [the law] prohibits city councils, boards of supervisors or local initiatives from banning the agreements, which set uniform work rules for a public project that could include use of union labor. The measure does not require that local jurisdictions use the agreements for a project, but prohibits blanket bans.

The bill, the Democratic governor wrote in a signing message, “preserves the right of all sides to debate what obviously is a hotly contested issue. Seems fair to me — even democratic.”

Apparently the “ban” only means that PLAs cannot be outlawed by city councils or districts outright, but can be considered on a case by case basis. God I hope so.

But no.

In California, leveling the playing field is only good for unions. Everyone else pays for it.

Cal Watchdog reports, Brown also signed AB 436, by state Sen. Jose Solorio, D-Santa Ana, on Sept. 30. The bill started out as a prevailing wage bill for public works projects, but was drastically amended at the end of August. AB 436 turned into a “labor compliance” bill and will now require local governments to pay “Labor Compliance Program” fees to the state, unless they already require contractors to sign Project Labor Agreements. In effect, this will exempt certain local PLA-friendly governments from paying the fees to the state.

So while Governor Brown talks a good game about fair debate with each project in his message attached to his signing of SB 922, we learn in AB 436 what he really means.

How long before the California’s unions link up with the Zetas is an open question.

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  1. Wendy Lack says

    The problem isn’t unions. The problem is weak and/or corrupt elected officials who play fast-and-loose with public budgets by approving sweetheart-deal PLAs.

    Elected officials that support PLAs are, by definition, anti-taxpayer because PLAs increase the cost of public projects.

    Members of school boards, special district boards, city councils and the county BOS that support PLAs cry wolf when they bemoan a lack of money, even as they obligate taxpayers to overpay for capital projects/maintenance.

    And you remember what eventually happened to the boy that cried wolf . . . don’t you?

  2. Mac Heebey says

    To all union workers–get a job under/because of a pla–shred the Constitution. Way to go