This legislative session brought some exciting victories as well as some deep disappointments. Labor accomplished big things this year that benefit all Californians but when it came to advancing worker protections, many of those bills were vetoed.
The 2012 State Legislature adjourned on August 29th and now hundreds of bills sit, awaiting the Governor’s signature. One of those bills, Assembly Bill 2508 by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla (D – Concord), will call back hundreds of jobs into California’s economy.
Current state law allows state public benefit contracts, including call-center contracts, to be awarded to contractors that perform the work outside of California, and even the United States. AB 2508 would prohibit state agencies that manage public benefit programs from contracting for call center services outside the state.
The federal and state economies are recovering from the great recession and California still has a high unemployment rate. Meanwhile, though it has cut services available to out-of-work and low-wage earners by over $15 billion over the past four years, California still spends billions on public benefits to help these individuals and families prevent hunger and homelessness and be prepared with the necessary job skills for when the economy bounces back.