Legislation touted as pro-transparency will eliminate basic services – Orange County Register

The fundamental purpose for a city or county is to serve its residents. If government is doing its job, then your streets are clean and safe, your public parks and buildings are maintained and the like. Taxpayers should be able to expect that government is spending their hard-earned dollars on critical services that improve their health, safety and quality of life. Assembly bill 1250, authored by Assemblyman Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles, would severely limit a city or county from contracting for services with a private entity. The proposal encompasses virtually every service a city or county can contract for — services such as accounting, waste-hauling, park maintenance, street cleaning, wastewater treatment, legal services, drug treatment facilities, IT services, landscaping services and more. If this bill is passed, it will drive up cities’ and counties’ costs and add layers of complexity to contracting for services — so much so that agencies would have limited choices for contracting services, or would be forced to eliminate specific services altogether.

Let’s set aside for a moment the backroom tactics used to move this measure to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, which included replacing members on the first policy committee that heard it to ensure its passage. On its face, Mr. Jones-Sawyer’s bill proposes a bureaucratic web of vague, costly and onerous reporting requirements. For example, a potential contractor would be forced to disclose to a city or county the full names and salaries of its workers and subcontractors performing work like that provided under the potential contract, as well as the compensation information for its highest-paid executives. And a contractor would have to provide descriptions of all criminal, civil or local administrative agency charges, claims or complaints filed against the contractor in state and federal court for the past 10 years. Those are just a few items on the laundry list of…

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