The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

October 11, 2013
Jerry Brown signs Richard Pan bill to limit state outsourcing

131011-Richard-Pan.jpgGov. Jerry Brown on Friday announced signing union-backed legislation aimed at making personal services contracts more transparent to unions.

Assemblyman Richard Pan's measure originally limited so-called "personal services contracts" to two years with no more than one two-year extension. Unions rallied at the Capitol in support of the measure, arguing that the state spends billions of dollars on contract workers at far greater cost than hiring more state employees.

The legislation that Brown signed today is a far less aggressive measure than the one labor interests wanted. Assembly Bill 906 requires that departments merely notify affected unions before they execute a contract for personal services.

Lawmakers removed Pan's time-limit and contract-renewal provisions from the bill. The state may also sidestep the disclosure provision if the services are "necessary due to a sudden and unexpected occurrence that poses a clear and imminent danger, requiring immediate action to prevent or mitigate the loss or impairment of life, health, property, or essential public services."

Still, Pan and AFSCME declared victory in a press release that the Sacramento Democrat's office issued Friday afternoon, quoting union Assistant Director Willie Pelote as saying the new law "will help us build a system of oversight that California needs to prevent overspending on private contractors."

PHOTO: Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, during the first day of session at the California state Capitol in Sacramento on Monday, Dec. 3, 2012. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua

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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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