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Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a labor-sponsored bill designed to protect project labor agreements from blanket bans imposed by local officials or initiatives, his office announced today.

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, it 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."


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