Bill hiking broadband construction costs approved by California assembly

by Steve Blum • , , , ,

The initial roll call, subject to revision.

Taking little more than a minute, the California assembly approved assembly bill 2272 this afternoon. The measure would add broadband infrastructure subsidised by the California Advanced Services Fund to the list of publicly funded projects that are subject to what are called “prevailing wage” requirements. That would mean that all work done – including work paid for by private matching funds – would be done according to union pay rates and rules.

The sponsor of the bill, Adam Gray (D – Merced) briefly made his case…

"Thank you madame speaker and members. AB 2272 codifies a decision already handed down from the department of industrial relations. The Central Valley Next Generation broadband infrastructure project is building out a fiber optic network in the central valley with partial funding from the California Advanced Services Fund. When petitioned for a decision, the department determined that the project meets the definition of public works and is therefore subject to prevailing wage. AB 2272 simply codifies that decision. This bill does not get into the weeds of prevailing wage, is narrowly drafted to incorporate the decision handed down by the department and I would respectfully ask for your aye vote.

Nora Campos (D – San Jose), speaker pro tempore of the California Assembly and presiding officer, then noted that no one rose to speak in opposition and spoke the familiar refrain. “Clerk will open the roll, all members vote who desire to vote”, she said.

What Gray didn’t mention was that the CVNG decision isn’t final yet, and AB 2272 would serve to short circuit ongoing appeals by baking it into law.

When the roll was closed, the vote tally stood at 50 ayes and 12 noes, a comfortable passing majority. Next stop for the bill is the California senate.