As communities across the U.S. are learning, companies that contract with our governments often fail to deliver the good jobs promised in their contracts. More robust sunshine and accountability laws can reverse that trend. SB749 is statewide legislation in California that would strengthen transparency by ensuring that information about the jobs commitments companies make as part of the public contracting process are accessible to the public under the California Public Records Act.
“Detailed information about our public contracts in California are difficult to track down,” said Abhilasha Bhola, California senior policy coordinator at JMA, in an email. “That’s why bills like SB 749 are so important—the public needs to have access to information about how our dollars are spent if we want to see real return on our shared investments.”
When companies make commitments to create jobs in connection with public contracts, grants, or subsidies, the public should have access to this information. SB749 would affirmatively state that any information around job creation, access and training disclosed as part of a public contract or tax abatement program, excluding CalCompetes, would not be considered a trade secret and thus accessible through a public records request.
This two-year bill is sponsored by longtime labor and social justice leader Senator Maria Elena Durazo and a coalition of 20+ labor, anti-poverty, environmental justice, and open government organizations.
Read more about this legislation in Capital & Main.