Editorials

California Democrats cook up one of their worst legislative turkeys ever

The Fresno nonprofit Reading and Beyond is opposed to Assembly Bill 1250, as are many organizations involved in health care, mental health services, drug abuse and domestic violence counseling, and workforce development. If passed, the bill virtually would force California counties to end contracts with nonprofits and hire union employees to deliver those services.
The Fresno nonprofit Reading and Beyond is opposed to Assembly Bill 1250, as are many organizations involved in health care, mental health services, drug abuse and domestic violence counseling, and workforce development. If passed, the bill virtually would force California counties to end contracts with nonprofits and hire union employees to deliver those services. Vida en el Valle file

California is a place where Democratic Party lawmakers friendly to unions often turn into contortionists to ram through bills that hamstring local government and leave taxpayers footing higher bills or receiving reduced services.

Well, the contortionists are stretching their limbs even farther these days on behalf of the bucket of horse slop that is Assembly Bill 1250, which cleared the Assembly June 1 (with backing from Joaquin Arambula of Fresno) and on July 12 passed the Senate Governance and Finance Committee.

Here are some key things you need to know about AB 1250:

▪  It would cripple the ability of California counties to deliver services to our most vulnerable and neediest citizens by making it more expensive or virtually impossible to contract with local nonprofits.

▪  It is the brainchild of Assemblyman Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, a Los Angeles Democrat who just happens to be a former local vice president for the Service Employees International Union, which would benefit immensely from the bill’s passage.

▪  One of the key “aye” votes in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee came from San Jose Democrat Jim Beall, who carved out a partial exemption for Santa Clara County, where he resides. Beall’s gyrations further exposed how bad this bill is, and how badly he wants to carry labor’s water.

The list of respected organizations opposed to AB 1250 might consume an entire page of this newspaper. Thus we will highlight just a few in hope of illustrating the depth and breadth of people speaking truth to the Democrats’ almost unbridled power to ram through unholy special-interest legislation.

From public safety, there are the California District Attorneys Association, the California State Sheriffs’ Association and the Chief Probation Officers of California.

From health and human services, there are the California Hospital Association, California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems, the County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California, the County Health Executives Association of California, the County Welfare Directors Association of California, and ACT for Mental Health and Wellness.

Still with us? Bless you.

From the nonprofit world, there are Fresno-based Reading and Beyond, which is one of the most effective groups of its kind in the nation; the Fresno County Economic Development Corp., Visalia-based Turning Point of Central California, and Centro La Familia Advocacy Services.

Children, seniors, the developmentally disabled, victims of domestic abuse, people needing mental health services, those fighting addictions and many other people could see their services cut just so SEIU can add to it rolls via AB 1250. Understand: This bill would place a virtual ban on the counties’ freedom to contract with nonprofits, licensed experts and community businesses for vital services.

By now, you must be wondering, what possible justification could AB 1250 backers cite aloud for its passage? Try not to laugh, they claim it would save money and improve care by having the counties – instead of the nonprofits that specialize in such services – do the work. Don’t be fooled. When a nonprofit fails to deliver on its promises, a county easily can give it a pink slip. Try doing that to an SEIU represented employee.

This bill is so bad that California cities universally objected to it. In a late night move, the cities were given a reprieve and cut out of the legislation in the Assembly. The hope by SEIU and its bat boys was that they could then quietly cram it down the counties’ throats.

There’s only one thing left to do with this turkey: Carve it up and toss it in the trash.

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