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.
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
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