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CALL TO ACTION: Cities Strongly Encouraged to Submit Updated Position Letters

August 7, 2013
Two League-opposed measures, SB 556 (Corbett) and AB 1373 (John A. Pérez), require urgent action.
SB 556 (Corbett): Contracted services: uniform and vehicle requirements.
SB 556, a measure requiring contractors providing services to state and local agencies openly disclose their status as a nongovernmental entity/employee, is currently pending on the Assembly Floor. Specifically, the bill creates unwarranted and costly uniform and vehicle requirements by mandating contractors wear/display insignia or logos on their uniforms and vehicles that clearly identify them as a nongovernmental employee. Many types of public agency contracts with local service providers already include uniform or logo requirements to ensure the public knows who the contractor is serving and for identifying regional operations during a major disaster or mutual aid request from a public agency.   
Contracting with private service providers has proven to be a more cost-effective alternative for local agencies. As cities continue to navigate through uncertain financial times, such costly state mandates create unnecessary obstacles for local agencies looking to maximize efficiency and scant resources.
According to the bill’s author, Senator Ellen Corbett (D-Hayward), SB 556 addresses issues surrounding unqualified personnel being assigned inappropriate service duties and public confusion. During the committee process, however, repeated inquiries regarding the need for the bill and how it would eradicate public confusion were questionable at best. SB 556 comes in a long line of bills introduced over the last several legislative cycles that labor interests have pushed to make contracting out for services more costly and inconvenient for public agencies. While arguing the need to clear up public confusion, the bill’s clear purpose is to hinder the ability of local agencies to secure more economical contract alternatives with nonunion service providers.
Should the bill garner passage in the Assembly, it will be sent to the Senate for amendment concurrence before it’s sent to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk for signing. The Governor vetoed similar legislation last year, stating that “it is not clear…that requiring logos on uniforms and vehicles solves any problems but…may spawn confusion and some costs.”
For the time being, it appears as though the vote for SB 556 will be split by party lines with the majority of Democrats in favor and Republicans in opposition. The League strongly encourages city officials to inform their legislators of their opposition by sending SB 556 oppose letters.
On the side: Click here to view a cartoon by Jack Ohman of the Sacramento Bee that sums up the absurdity of SB 556 requirements.
AB 1373 (John A. Pérez): Workers’ compensation: firefighters and peace officers.

As reported earlier, AB 1373, authored by Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles), extends the current statute of limitations for presumptive death benefit claims for cancer, tuberculosis, or MRSA filed on behalf of a firefighter or peace officer from 240 weeks to 480 weeks. The bill is similar to last year’s AB 2451 (Pérez), which Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed.
AB 1373 is currently scheduled to be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee this coming Monday, Aug. 12. This is its final stop before being sent to the Senate floor. The League strongly encourages city officials submit opposition letters or call the following Senate Appropriations Committee members to urge their “no” vote:
Senator Contact Phone
Kevin de Léon (Chair) (916) 651-4022
Mimi Walters (Vice Chair) (916) 651-4037
Ted Gaines (916) 651-4001
Jerry Hill (916) 651-4013
Ricardo Lara (916) 651-4033
Alex Padilla (916) 651-4020
President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (916) 651-4006

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