California Bill to Blacklist Border Wall Contractors Step Closer

April 27, 2017

In an 8 to 3 vote Tuesday, California's Senate Committee on Governmental Organization took another step towards passing SB30 that bars any business involved with building the barrier wall between the U.S. and Mexico from doing business with California. SB30 be heard next by the Senate Appropriations Committee .

SB30 is sponsored by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) is one of two bills taking aim at contractors who choose to work on the border wall.

The second bill, Assembly Bill 946 by Assemblyman Phil Ting, (D- San Francisco), would force the state to drop its pension investments in any companies involved in the project. Assembly Bill 946 will be heard in the Assembly Committee on Public Employees, Retirement & Social Security on May 3.

The bills seek to use California’s bargaining power to urge companies to take the side of taxpayers who would be expected to pay for the wall. Despite Trump’s claims that Mexico would pay for the wall, his 2017 budget plan includes a $2 billion down payment for the wall, and the eventual cost could be more than $21 billion, according to Department of Homeland Security documents. That is approximately the same as the Marine Corps’ entire budget ($23.6 billion).

Lobbyists for contractors spoke out against the bill Tuesday at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Governmental Organization , saying it would create a slippery slope.

"This is precedent setting," said Todd Bloomstine, of the Southern California Contractors Association. "What next unpopular project would we blacklist for contractors?"

Sen. Bill Dodd, (D- Napa), said that as a former contractor, he sympathized with those who felt they were caught in the political crossfire. But, he said, "I just believe at this point in our history we have to take a stand for something."