2002 House Bill 6088

Introduced in the House

May 21, 2002

Introduced by Rep. Virg Bernero (D-68)

To prohibit the privatization of government services unless the savings to the state would be at least 10 percent of the cost of the same service being performed by government workers. The bill would require extensive public disclosures for any company that bids on the provision of privatized services. A contractor would be required to pay employees a rate comparable to that paid to government workers, or the private sector rate determined by the state civil service commission, including benefits. Government workers who formerly provided the service would have to be offered a job by the contractor. The contractor would be prohibited from using the compensation provided for the service to oppose union organizing efforts, to hire consultants on how to avoid unionization, to hold employee meetings seeking to influence employees about unionization, or to provide a defense against unfair labor practices charges brought by federal or state enforcement agencies. The contractor could not hire a subcontractor without permission from the state, would be required to submit annual audits to the state, and to open his books on activities related to the contract. These records would be public information subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). A state agency contemplating privatizing services would be required to submit extensive cost/benefit and other analyses, and certify that the 10-percent savings mandate and other provisions have been met. Violation of any of these provisions would be punishable by triple damages and civil fines of up to $50,000. Extensive “whistleblower” protections would apply to an employee who discloses violations, and the provisions of the proposed law would have to be posted at the contractor’s workplace.

Referred to the Committee on Oversight and Operations