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HR-29 (2013-2014)

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Amended  IN  Assembly  April 03, 2014
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 13, 2014


House Resolution
No. 29

Introduced by Assembly Member Gomez
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Alejo, Ammiano, Atkins, Bloom, Bocanegra, Bonilla, Bonta, Bradford, Buchanan, Campos, Chau, Chesbro, Dababneh, Dickinson, Fong, Frazier, Gatto, Gonzalez, Hall, Roger Hernández, Holden, Jones-Sawyer, Lowenthal, Nazarian, Pan, John A. Pérez, Quirk, Rendon, Ridley-Thomas, Rodriguez, Skinner, Stone, Ting, Weber, Wieckowski, Williams, and Yamada)

February 04, 2014

Relative to outsourcing public services.


HR 29, as amended, Gomez.

WHEREAS, Public services and assets are the fabric that binds our communities together. They are also a ladder to the middle class; and
WHEREAS, Faced with severe budget problems in the wake of the Great Recession, state and local governments across America are handing over control of public services and assets to corporations that promise to operate them better, faster, and cheaper; and
WHEREAS, Outsourcing these services and assets often fails to keep these promises, and too often it undermines transparency, accountability, and shared prosperity and competition - the underpinnings of democracy itself; and
WHEREAS, Outsourcing means that taxpayers have less say over how future tax dollars are spent and have no ability to vote out executives who make decisions that could harm the public interest; and
WHEREAS, Outsourcing means taxpayers are often contractually limited to a single for-profit corporation; and
WHEREAS, Outsourcing frequently means that wages and benefits for public service workers fall and the local economy suffers while corporate profits rise. The Center for American Progress Action Fund has found that of the 5.4 million people working for federal service contractors in 2008, an estimated 80 percent earned below the living wage for their city or region. For-profit corporations are three times more likely than the public sector to employ workers at poverty-threshold wages; and two million private sector employees working for federal contractors earn less than $12 an hour - too little to support a family. That is more low wage workers than are employed by McDonald’s and WalMart combined; and
WHEREAS, Outsourcing means that taxpayers often no longer know how their tax dollars are being spent. Meetings and records that used to be open to the public can become proprietary information when corporations take over; and
WHEREAS, The Taxpayer Empowerment Agenda is one model that may help ensure transparency, accountability, shared prosperity, and competition in the operation of public services and assets; and
WHEREAS, Planks in the Taxpayer Empowerment Agenda would require governments to post information about their contracts online and require contractors to open their books to the public, ensure that governments have the capacity to adequately oversee contracts, to cancel contracts that fail to deliver on their promises, prohibit law breaking companies from getting government contracts, require contractors to pay their employees living wages and benefits, require competitive bidding on contracts that guarantee company profits at the expense of taxpayers; and
WHEREAS, Recent polling shows that taxpayers oppose the outsourcing of public services and assets to for-profit companies and support these common sense controls to ensure that their interests are protected; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, That the Assembly opposes outsourcing of public services and assets, which harms transparency, accountability, shared prosperity, and competition, and supports processes that give public service workers the opportunity to develop their own plan on how to deliver cost-effective, high-quality services; and be it further
Resolved, That the Assembly urges local officials to become familiar with the provisions of the Taxpayer Empowerment Agenda; and be it further
Resolved, That the Assembly intends to introduce and advocate for responsible outsourcing legislation; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.