The Third Edition Is Out! The Original and ONLY Guide to Government-Mandated Construction Wage Rate (“Prevailing Wage”) Policies for California’s 121 Charter Cities

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Voters in 121 California cities have enacted charters, mini-constitutions that give these cities full authority to govern their own municipal affairs without mandates or interference from the state legislature. One of the most high-profile powers of a charter city is the right to establish its own policies concerning government-mandated construction wage rates (so-called “prevailing wages”) on city projects or private projects that only receive government funding from the city itself.

The California Constructon Compliance Group (CCCG) has produced the first and only comprehensive review of the status of government-mandated construction wage rate policies in California’s 121 charter cities. This guide helps construction contractors to comply with labor laws and provides the public with an important resource about a financially-significant public policy issue. The first edition was published in July 2009, the second edition was published in January 2011, and the third and latest edition has just been published in August 2012.

The latest edition includes a introduction signed by me.

Are Charter Cities Taking Advantage of State-Mandated Construction Wage Rate (“Prevailing Wage”) Exemptions? – 3rd Edition – Summer 2012

Here’s the Table of Contents:

Background on Charter Cities, Public Works Construction, and California’s State-Mandated Construction Wage Rates

Examining the Right of Charter Cities to Establish Their Own Policies Concerning Government-Mandated Construction Wage Rates

Under What Authority Does a Charter City Exempt Its Local Construction from State-Mandated Construction Wage Rates?

The Prevailing Wage Exemption Is Legal: the California Supreme Court Ended Five Years of Legal Uncertainty and Upheld the Constitutional Right of Charter Cities to Establish Their Own Prevailing Wage Policies

There Are Many Good Reasons for a Charter City to Avoid State Laws Concerning Government-Mandated Construction Wage Rates

The Term “Prevailing Wage” Is a Misnomer That Deceives California Citizens

State-Mandated Construction Wage Rates Now Include Fees for Union Programs

“Public Works” Now Encompasses Much More than Government Projects

Laws Imposing Costly State-Mandated Construction Wage Rates Also Impose Duties on Local Governments Such as Notifications, Monitoring, Recordkeeping, Legal Interpretation, Compliance, and Enforcement

The State Maintains a Sunset Provision That May Require Volunteers to be Paid State-Mandated Construction Wage Rates in the Future

Studies and Anecdotes Show the High Costs of State-Mandated Construction Wage Rates

Charter Cities Can and Do Adopt Many Kinds of Policies for Government-Mandated Wage Rates on Purely Municipal Construction

The Specific Status Of Policies Concerning Government-Mandated Construction Wage Rates in California’s 121 Charter Cities

City-Specific Data

Summary of Findings – List of 121 Charter Cities, Categorized by County

Political Analysis And Considerations

Ten Categories of Cities Recently Involved with Decisions Involving Charters and Government-Mandated Construction Wage Rates

Recent Political Dynamics of Charter Consideration at the City Level

Who Opposes Charters, and What Are Their Messages and Tactics?

Using the Current Political Context to Anticipate the Next Attack on Charter City Rights

How Unions Used Senate Bill 922 in 2011 and Senate Bill 829 in 2012 to Suppress the Home Rule Authority of Charter Cities

Voters Were Not Intimidated by the Union Threats Delivered Through These New Laws

There Is Considerable Risk for the California State Legislature If It Continues to Work on Behalf of Unions to Suppress the Authority of Local Governments

Strategies for Exempting Your Charter City from State-Mandated Construction Wage Rates

Waiting for the California State Legislature to Reform State-Mandated Construction Wage Laws Is a Futile Exercise – It Isn’t Going to Happen

Understanding the Debate Over State-Mandated Construction Wage Rates

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  1. […] ADDITIONAL THOUGHT: as I was writing about the Costa Mesa City Council’s derailed cost-efficiency plan on the morning of August 18, 2012 (Costa Mesa’s Bold and Meaningful Government Cost-Efficiency Plan on Hold Until November 6, When Citizens Vote on a Proposed Charter (Measure V) and for Three City Council Members), I realized that Moody’s looks at strong local government authority without considering all of the potential POSITIVE aspects of strong local governments and ”home rule” under charters. A 4-1 majority on the Costa Mesa City Council is asking voters to enact a charter on November 6 through Measure V that would allow it more freedom and flexibility to save money for taxpayers by contracting out services and exempting local construction from state-mandated construction wage rates (so-called “prevailin…. […]