Wednesday, 6 September 2017

AB 1250

Should it become law, AB 1250 could suppress the ability of local governments to rely on nonprofits as vital partners, to help fill gaps in services that government may be ill-equipped to provide, having the very severe potential to undermine the quality and cost-effectiveness of important economic, environmental and social programs that we all deeply care about.

AB 1250’s requirements are far too onerous, adding many restrictions and raising costs without boosting real accountability. Just to give a few examples, AB 1250 will drive up unfunded overhead and compliance costs by requiring complicated audits, to be paid for by nonprofit contractors, and the disclosure requirements could be in violation of HIPAA and other privacy laws and conflicts with other state and federal laws.

An array of state statutes and federal laws already set limits on how counties can contract with outside service providers. Also disturbing is the likelihood that contracts will come to a halt altogether, a prospect the counties are saying unequivocally will occur, or be so delayed that they cause serious adversity to the low-income and marginalized Californians nonprofits serve.

We are concerned about some misconceptions that understate the negative impact of AB 1250. Contrary to what has sometimes been stated, AB 1250 would apply not only to new contracts, but also to existing contracts when they come up for renewal. Some proponents claim that AB 1250’s provisions are included in California State Government Code 19130, and this simply reinforces those codes, but in fact AB 1250 contains numerous provisions that go much further than the state requires.

There are important reasons that counties turn to nonprofits to partner with them on delivery of critical services such as health and human services, animal welfare, juvenile justice, domestic violence, immigration matters and more. Nonprofits have a long and proven track record of providing quality, cost-effective, linguistically appropriate, and culturally competent services that are geographically located in the heart of rural and urban communities. In fact, as noted in CalNonprofits’ seminal report, Causes Count: The Economic Power of California’s Nonprofit Sector, over 80 percent of Californians have confidence that nonprofits act in the public’s interest and deliver quality services, operate efficiently and spend money wisely.

AB 1250 could not be proffered at a worse time. Communities are particularly fearful right now and people are shying away from government contact. Nonprofits have built trusted relationships in those communities, making this an especially bad time to end contracts with nonprofits. Additionally, with a federal administration that has suggested significant cuts, the simple truth is California’s nonprofits, especially those serving our underserved communities through health and social services are under particular threat of federal destabilization.

Many of us are allies with labor on opposing the privatization of government jobs (and many other issues of common cause, such as the successful campaign to raise the minimum wage). But AB 1250 distorts how decisions should be made about providing critical services for our communities. A county’s decision to allocate funds for services is complex and includes technical expertise, experience, efficiency, cultural and linguistic competency, and geography. At the core of county agency and board of supervisor, decisions are a commitment to the community.

Therefore, the County is reaching out for assistance in communicating your opposition of this bill to the Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Included is information in regards to AB 1250 and two sample letters, which you can utilize in communicating your opposition to Sacramento. It is encouraged that you send hard copies of the letters, as emailed letters of support/opposition may be overlooked and not printed for review. The addresses for the Members of the Senate Committee are attached. 

AB 1250 Opposition Ltr to Author

Addresses for CA Senate Appropriations Re- AB 1250

Sample Business Oppose AB 1250 Ltr_6_12_17 (rev)

Sample NonProfit Oppose AB 1250 Ltr (rev)