Sabrina Demayo Lockhart works for the office of Senator Dave Cogdill.

Public employee unions on Tuesday killed common-sense legislation to create more private sector jobs while also maximizing taxpayers’ dollars for state building maintenance costs.

Unions successfully convinced several Democrats to vote against Senate Bill 1457, by Senator Dave Cogdill (R-Modesto), which would have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars annually in administrative costs by streamlining state contracting practices for small projects.

“Once again, public employee unions in Sacramento have wielded their political muscle to protect their special interests at the expense of hard-working taxpayers.  Californians should be appalled that the majority party would prefer to feed state bureaucracy at a time when lawmakers are forced to slash programs serving vulnerable children, seniors and the disabled,” said Senator Cogdill.  “This measure would have saved the state money and created private sector jobs, both of which are essential to getting our budget back on track.”

SB 1457 would allow the Department of General Services (DGS) to use a project delivery method called “job order contracting.”  This would allow the state to enter an extended, competitively bid contract for several smaller projects without first seeking individual bids for each job.  DGS estimates up to $23,000 in administrative cost savings for each project and even greater savings could be achieved through lower bids.

This cost-saving method is already used by the California State University and University of California systems, as well as the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the cities of San Diego and Los Angeles, and Sacramento, Contra Costa and Ventura Counties.  LAUSD analyzed their pilot program using job order contracting and found the method saved 26% more than originally estimated.