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San Diego Council Forwards PLA Ban To Voters

— San Diego voters will get to weigh in on whether the city should ban labor agreements on public construction projects. The vote will happen even though the city’s never entered into such an agreement.

Project labor agreements dictate things like wages, benefits and working conditions on construction projects; they’re largely seen as benefiting labor unions.

The San Diego City Council today decided to allow voters to weigh in next June on whether to ban such agreements on public construction projects.

The vote will cost San Diego more than $500,000. But state legislation recently signed by the governor says cities that prohibit consideration of PLA’s can’t get state money for those projects.

San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said it’s still unclear what the impact for San Diego will be if voters pass the ban.

"Does the initiative block all state funding for construction projects in the City of San Diego?" he asked.

Goldsmith said the answer to that depends on your interpretation of the new state law.

The council voted unanimously to forward the issue to voters, though several members said they believed it was expensive and unnecessary. Their only other option was to adopt the ban outright.

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