March 13, 2024

Greater Irvine Chamber Opposes California Assembly Bill That Would Impact University of California Contracting with Businesses

Through a letter to California Assembly Labor and Employment Committee Chair Liz Ortega (District 20), Greater Irvine Chamber Interim President & CEO Dave Coffaro urged a NO vote on the proposed California Assembly Bill ACA 14. The Chamber’s position is the bill will undermine the University of California’s academic mission and ability to support and drive regional economies across California.

The University of California is an essential economic engine for the state, contributing roughly $82 billion annually to California’s economic output. Over a half-million jobs in California are supported by the University, and UC-related spending generates nearly $12 billion annually in federal, state, and local tax revenues. UC’s economic ripple effect is so large that it touches every region in the state.

The Chamber’s concern is with new provisions relating to contracting out for services. UC is an anchor institution committed to creating new contracting opportunities for small, disadvantaged, women-owned, and minority businesses. These efforts fall within University of California policy that requires contracts to be used only sparingly and as an option of last resort to address temporary or exigent circumstances, but not to displace University employees. Further, UC has engaged in good faith negotiations all year on legislation to codify additional limitations on contracting out. ACA 14 upends all that work and would make it nearly impossible for Greater Irvine Chamber members to do any business with the University.

The Legislature just passed a budget full of tough choices to close a multi-billion dollar budget gap, with more deficits projected in future years., Cluttering the ballot to amend the constitution and make it harder for local businesses to contribute to California’s economic vitality is the wrong approach. Small businesses still recovering from the economic hardship of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To learn more and to become involved in the Greater Irvine Chamber’s Government Affairs, contact Marcella Avilez.

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