San Mateo County is like a yappy Pomeranian that won't shut up. Just as the county barked at San Francisco's plan for congestion pricing, politicos there are now retaliating against the city for passing its prized local hire law.
The ink has barely dried on San Francisco's labor-friendly law, and Assemblyman Jerry Hill is already biting back with his own bill that will strip down San Francisco's new local hire law -- and punish the city for ever passing it.
He's proposing to withhold state money for local hire projects across California, namely in San Francisco. And it doesn't stop there. Hill, a San Mateo Democrat, is also trying to restrict San Francisco from applying its local hire law to projects at San Francisco facilities that are up to 70 miles away from the City by the Bay.
Hill says that San Francisco's law is the strictest in the nation, and it's alienating other laborers in the Bay Area who are desperately in need of work.
"The Bay Area is an economically interdependent region," Hill said. "We need to focus on creating jobs regionally, not just in each city or county."
San Francisco passed the local hire law in December, which says firms working on major city-funded construction projects must hire a minimum number of San Francisco residents. Starting this year, at least 20 percent of those working on city-funded projects must live in San Francisco. That number will rise to 50 percent by 2016. Businesses that violate the law will be fined.
The law was passed after studies
showed that the city was not hiring locals for work. The media criticized San Francisco, which has been coping with a 10 percent unemployment rate.
San Francisco is slated to award as much as $27 million in public contracts in the next 10 years.
Supervisor John Avalos, the author of San Francisco's local hire law, did not return SF Weekly's
phone calls, but our best guess is that he prefers the quiet Labrador
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