California's state Senate will take up a bill that would ban state contract work from going offshore after the Assembly passed it 44-26 on Thursday.
The legislation, if passed and signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, would require that any work granted under a state contract be performed within California's borders. The law would apply to subcontractors as well as primary state contractors.
With the passage of the measure by the Assembly, California joins a host of other states where laws aimed at ensuring that state work stays onshore, companies that outsource operations overseas are ineligible for state contracts, or both have either passed or are moving through legislatures. The proposal doesn't ban private outsourcing companies from contending for state work; it merely requires that the work be done in-state.
The bill's proponents point to a contract to provide help services to welfare and food-stamp recipients that the state signed with an India-based call center as the type of work they'd like to see stopped by the new law. Opponents, meanwhile, attacked the measure as unnecessary meddling with market efficiency that would benefit state taxpayers.