Controversial Outsourcing Bill Passes Cal Senate Committee
Legislation would prohibit private, security information from being processed overseas
SACRAMENTO - 05/04/04 - A new piece of legislation that in effect "prohibits even the most basic and innocuous international commercial transactions" has passed the California Senate's Industrial Relations Committee, according to the state-wide California Chamber of Commerce.
The legislation - SB 1492 - authored by Sen. Joseph Dunn (D-Garden Grove) and actively opposed by the Chamber - would "prohibit the performance of any work involving information that is private with respect to Californians or essential to California's homeland security at a work site outside the United States."
In opposing the bill, the Chamber noted that most international commercial transactions "require at least one of the types of private information enumerated in the bill to be transmitted outside of the United States to be worked on," citing that fully one-fourth of California's economic activity depends on foreign trade.
SB 1492 "would stop these commercial transactions and prevent Californians from participating in any commercial venture that has international implications without having to individually identify each and every piece of information they want sent outside of the United States," the Chamber said.
For instance, it said in a statement announcing passage of the legislation, "an individual who wishes to purchase property in a country other than the United States would be required to individually identify each piece of financial information that is to be sent outside of the United States."
Under this scenario, "Californians would be prevented from engaging in any international purchase because the cost and time required to comply with SB 1492 would make such a commercial transaction impracticable for commercial institutions."
Individuals who seek medical treatment in foreign countries could be prohibited from doing so under another section of the bill, the statement said.
The Chamber "believes the damage SB 1492 will do to Californians attempting to participate in global commerce outweighs any of the benefits from the bill," said Dominic DiMare, a spokesman for the Sacramento-based?business group.
The California Labor Federation strongly supported the measure, which, it said, would "protect American jobs and keep privacy-related information here [in the US] where consumers and shareholders have legal protections and recourse."
SB 1492 passed on a straight party-line vote of 5-3.
Voting "Aye" were Senators Richard Alarcon (D-San Fernando Valley and the committee chairman); Liz Figueroa (D-Fremont), Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica), Gloria Romero (D-Los Angeles), and its author Joseph Dunn.
Voting "No" were Rico Oller (R-San Andreas and vice-chairman of the committee), Robert Margett (R-Arcadia), and Tom McClintock (R-Thousand Oaks).
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