SB 7

WHAT DOES SB 7 DO TO CITIES?

SB 7 (Steinberg) prohibits a charter city from receiving or using state funding or financial assistance for a construction project if the city has a voter-approved charter provision or ordinance that authorizes a contractor to not comply with state prevailing wage requirements on local construction projects funded by (non-state) city funds. SB 7 was heard in the Assembly Local Government Committee on  June 26. City officials from throught California sent members of this committee a petition urging them to carefully consider the effect of this bill on local governments. The bill now moves to the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee. Cities are encouraged to contact members of the committee and urge them to vote no. The bill language, the League's opposition letter and a sample opposition letter are available online.

Two news conferences have recently been held to voice opposition to SB 7 bringing together city officials and local leaders.

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING

THE ISSUE

The League opposes SB 7 because it will RETROACTIVELY punish the voters and residents of 51 charter cities for exercising their right to vote on how city funds are spent by denying them access to any state funding for public works. SB 7 also fundamentally infringes on the right to vote of residents of charter cities — a right protected by both the California and U.S. Constitutions. SB 7 essentially nullifies the votes of those voters by imposing conditions on the voting after the election occurred.

In the 2012 decision of the California Supreme Court in State Building and Construction Trades, AFL-CIO v. City of Vista, the California Supreme Court firmly determined that only charter cities can decide how they will spend city tax funds. SB 7 attempts to indirectly nullify that decision by imposing unconstitutional conditions on state public works grants that the voters in these cities help fund with their own state tax payments.

By seeking to impose punitive measures for decisions made by the voters of charter cities that are valid under our state constitution, the SB 7 would infringe upon the exercise of what our U.S. Supreme Court has rightly called the “fundamental right to vote.” Next year it will be the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark voting rights decision in Reynolds v. Sims, in which Chief Justice and former California Governor Earl Warren famously described the right to vote as “a fundamental matter in a free and democratic society … especially since it is preservative of other basic civil and political rights.”

If the Legislature starts down the road of treating the valid actions of local voters with contempt, public confidence will be lost in the validity of local elections and respect for the Legislature will be further eroded. How can the public have confidence that any future state bond measure or proposition will be implemented in a way that is faithful to the voters’ actions if the rules of the game can be altered by a future legislature? The truth of the matter is that they can’t.

SB 7 is bad for democracy and bad for California. No one’s vote should be nullified because the legislature decides it doesn’t like it at some later date. The public’s faith in government will be shattered if this can be done, and state leaders will find it is difficult to rebuil

ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION OF SB 7

  • SB 7 infringes on the fundamental right to vote of all California voters who live in the more than 100 charter cities that choose to exercise authority granted only to them by the California Constitution.
  • SB 7 retroactively places conditions on and substitutes the Legislature's judgment for that of the voters of charter cities in direct conflict with a recent California Supreme Court decision. Legal  Analysis.
  • SB 7 will unfairly penalize the more than 5 million residents and taxpayers of 51 charter cities by withholding state funding for public works projects that is paid to the state by these same Californians.
  • SB 7 threatens the vitality of communities that could no longer afford to invest in important projects.


OPPOSITION

REGIONAL LOCAL GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS
  • Alameda County Mayors Conference
  • California Contract Cities Association
  • League of California Cities
  • League of California Cities, Central Valley Division
  • League of California Cities, LA County Division
  • League of California Cities, Redwood Empire Division
  • League of California Cities, San Diego County Division
  • Marin County Council of Mayors and Council Members

CITIES

  • Adelanto
  • Alhambra
  • Apple Valley
  • Arcadia
  • Atascadero
  • Bakersfield
  • Benicia
  • Big Bear Lake
  • Buena Park
  • Burbank
  • Carlsbad
  • Ceres
  • Cerritos
  • Chula Vista
  • Coalinga
  • Culver City
  • Cypress
  • Danville
  • Del Mar
  • Diamond Bar
  • Dinuba
  • Downey
  • El Cajon
  • El Centro
  • Eureka
  • Folsom
  • Fortuna
  • Gilroy
  • Glendora
  • Goleta
  • Gonzales
  • Grass Valley
  • Grover Beach
  • Hayward
  • Highland
  • Huntington Beach
  • Huron
  • Jackson
  • King City
  • La Quinta
  • Lakewood
  • Lemoore
  • Lindsay
  • Livermore
  • Los Alamitos
  • Mendota
  • Merced
  • Modesto
  • Murrieta
  • Napa
  • Norwalk
  • Pacific Grove
  • Palm Desert
  • Palo Alto
  • Paramount
  • Pasadena
  • Petaluma
  • Pico Rivera
  • Pleasanton
  • Plymouth
  • Porterville
  • Rancho Cucamonga
  • Rancho Mirage
  • Ridgecrest
  • Roseville
  • Salinas
  • San Juan Capistrano
  • San Joaquin
  • San Luis Obispo
  • San Marcos
  • Santa Maria
  • Santee
  • Selma
  • Shafter
  • Signal Hill
  • Solvang
  • South San Francisco
  • Tehachapi
  • Torrance
  • Tracy
  • Tulare
  • Ventura
  • Victorville
  • Visalia
  • Vista
  • Wasco
  • West Covina
  • Whittier

CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE/REGIONAL BUSINESS GROUPS/TAXPAYER ASSOCIATIONS
  • Air Conditioning Trade Association
  • Associated Builders and Contractors of California
  • Contra Costa Tax Payers Association
  • Coachella Valley Economic Partnership
  • Contractors Association of Truckee Tahoe
  • Corona Taxpayers Association
  • Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce
  • Desert Valleys Builders Association
  • Fresno Chamber of Commerce
  • Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce
  • Greater Merced Chamber of Commerce
  • Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce
  • Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association
  • Inland Empire Taxpayers Association
  • Irvine Chamber of Commerce
  • Kearn Citizens for Sustainable Government
  • Kern County Taxpayers Association
  • LA County Business Federation
  • Lemoore Chamber of Commerce
  • Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce
  • North of the River Chamber of Commerce
  • Palm Desert Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association of California
  • Sacramento County Taxpayers Association
  • San Diego Taxpayers Association
  • San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership
  • San Joaquin Taxpayers Association
  • South Bay Association of Chambers of Commerce
  • Southwest California Legislative Council
  • Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce
  • Western Electrical Contractors Association

INDIVIDUAL ORGANIZATIONS
  • American Council of Engineering Companies
  • California Building Industry Association
  • Lewis Operating Corporation
  • Muni Services

INDIVIDUAL
  • Mayor Ashley Swearengin, city of Fresno
 


 
 
© League of California Cities