The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

March 11, 2013
Bill would require legislative approval for outsourcing

130311_Richard_Pan_amezcua_2010.JPGA new bill would require the Legislature approve state contracts for services, limit how long the agreements could run and clamp down on how long departments could extend them.

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.

California government unions move to squeeze out private contractors

Assembly Bill 906 by

PHOTO CREDIT: Richard Pan in 2010. Hector Amezcua / Sacramento Bee

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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