Bill setting privatization safeguards goes to Rauner’s desk
House Bill 3216, which aims to curb reckless privatization and ensure accountability to taxpayers passed out of the Senate on May 25 with a vote of 37-19. The bill had passed out of the House on April 27 with a vote of 64-52-2 and now goes to the governor’s desk.
Sponsored by Rep. Litesa Wallace, the legislation prevents the state from privatizing services currently performed by state employees without first meeting rigorous requirements.
According to the bill—which was sponsored by Sen. Andy Manar in the Senate—the state can only enter into third-party contracts when those contracts are in the best interest of Illinois.
In order for a third-party contract to be deemed in the state’s best interest, it has to clearly demonstrate that it meets numerous conditions, including:
- Third party contracts must be awarded through a competitive bidding process.
- Contracts must result in overall cost savings to the state and those savings must be large enough that they won’t be eliminated by cost fluctuations in the work.
- The need must justify the size and duration of any contract and prove that the savings won’t be achieved through diminishment in service quality or quantity.
- Contracts cannot adversely affect affirmative action or veterans’ hiring preferences.
- Jobs cannot move out of Illinois or out of the country as a result of any third-party contract.
- The potential advantage of a third-party contract must outweigh the benefit of having state employees perform the service.
“This bill is incredibly important for our state,” said John Cameron, Director of Political and Community Relations at AFSCME Council 31. “We must protect taxpayers from irresponsible privatization schemes that hurt workers and degrade public services.”