SACRAMENTO — Senator Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) announced May 27 that Senate Bill 1271 has successfully passed the Senate Floor with unanimous support. The bill adds much-needed accountability to the state’s no-bid contracting process by ensuring there is ample opportunity for both oversight and review of a contract before renewal.
“This is a victory for transparency and good governance. Given the Valencia Lab’s substantial failures, it was shocking to see the Newsom Administration just automatically renew the contract,” said Wilk.
The need for additional layers of legislative oversight of no-bid contracts was made apparent by the late-2021 renewal of a contract with the PerkinElmer COVID testing lab in Valencia. Despite major concerns raised by whistleblowers regarding mismanagement and processing inadequacies in the lab, no oversight hearing was held before the contract was auto-renewed in October 2021. In March of this year, the Newsom Administration quietly canceled the contract.
Under SB 1271, state agencies entering into contracts worth $75 million or more are required to submit information regarding the proposed renewal or extension of the contracts to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, empowering the committee to review the terms of the contract before these contracts are automatically renewed.
SB 1271 protects Californians’ right to hold their government, and its use of tax dollars, accountable. Legislative oversight will empower the public to more easily review and, if needed, critique their state’s use of its finances.
“SB 1271 is now headed to the Assembly, where I look forward to working with my Assembly colleagues to ensure that accountability is ever-present in California’s no-bid contracting process,” Wilk added.
Senator Wilk represents the 21st Senate District which includes the Antelope, Santa Clarita and Victor valleys.