Sacramento Democrat Richard Pan's proposal, Assembly Bill 906, tacks those provisions on to existing laws intended to protect state civil service jobs.
Departments sometimes ignore the law and contract out services that overlap with state civil service jobs. Unions can challenge those contracts -- if they know about them -- but the process can require so much time that the agreements run their course before the disputes are resolved.
Last year, for example, the state attorneys' union successfully contested a multimillion-dollar legal services contract between the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and a private law firm. By the time the union had discovered the contract, challenged it before the State Personnel Board and won the case, the agreement was just a few months from expiring.
Pan's bill would make personal services contracts subject to legislative approval. The Legislature would also have to allocate money to pay them before a department can ink a deal.
The measure allows for initial contracts of up to 90 days. Agencies would have a one-time option to extend the arrangement, another 90 days after notifying the State Personnel Board. The board would then pass the information along to state-employee unions and other representative groups, which would have 10 days to request a meeting about the contract extension with the agency.
PHOTO CREDIT: Richard Pan in 2010. Hector Amezcua / Sacramento Bee