From Karen Keeslar, SBPEA Lobbyist- Another disappointment by Governor Brown:

On the last day for the Governor to take action on the bills that reached his desk, Governor Brown vetoed AB 566 (Wieckowski) that would have established reasonable standards for local courts to follow before they privatize court services.  AB 566 would have established standards for the use of contracts for all services currently or customarily performed by trial court employees, restrict the use of personal services contracts for the purpose of achieving cost savings, permitting contracts only if specified conditions are met, require measurable performance standards and audits for personal services contracts in excess of $100,000 annually, and sunset on January 1, 2020.

We strongly supported AB 566 through the legislative process.  When the courts were part of the county system they were subject to the same reasonable standards and restrictions that limit contracting out of local services.  The courts became independent entities in 1997 those statutes no longer applied.  It’s been nothing less than shocking to see how the acceleration of contracting out by the courts over the past few years.  The Placer Court has reduced staff from 183 to 102 over the past four years through privatization.  The Judicial Council and Administrative Office of the Courts have been strongly opposed to AB 566 and succeeded in getting editorial support from many newspapers that urged the Governor to veto the bill. 

Here is the veto message:

I am returning Assembly Bill 566 without my signature. I agree with the author that decisions to change the way court services are provided should be carefully evaluated to ensure they are both fair and cost-effective. However, this measure goes too far. It requires California's courts to meet overly detailed and in some cases nearly impossible requirements when entering into or renewing certain contracts. Other provisions are unclear and will lead to confusion about what services may or may not be subject to this measure. The courts, like many of our governmental agencies, are under tremendous funding pressure and face the challenge of doing their work at a lower cost. I am unwilling to restrict the flexibility of our courts, as specified in this bill, as they face these challenges.

Sincerely, Edmund G. Brown Jr