Opposition is growing against a bill in the California Legislature that would add strict new requirements before any counties can contract out for government services.
Matt Cate, who heads the California State Association of Counties, says the union supported legislation could prevent counties from continuing to hire nonprofit groups that offer cost-effective health and social services.
“It’s cost prohibitive to hire full-time staff to do part-time work," says Cate. "So, if you don’t have a specific need 24/7 then you might contract out because it’s a more efficient way of doing the job.”
The bill would not affect city governments.
Supporters reject the idea that it will lead to the end of contracting, as some opponents have claimed. They say the bill is about ensuring transparency and performance standards for contractors.
The bill passed the Assembly in June. It awaits a key vote in a Senate committee on Friday.