Court of Appeal Hears Oral Argument in Cities' Challenge to Senate Bill 7

January 13, 2016 - The California Court of Appeal heard oral argument on January 11 in the lawsuit filed by five charter cities to challenge Senate Bill 7, which provides that charter cities are eligible for discretionary State construction funding only if the city requires payment of prevailing wages on all its public works projects. 

The Superior Court rejected the Cities' challenge, concluding that Senate Bill 7 provides a lawful financial incentive for cities to require the payment of prevailing wages and training of apprentices, and thereby to maintain the skilled and trained construction workforce that will benefit the California economy.  The Cities then appealed to the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District. Attorney General Kamala Harris and the State Building and Construction Trades Council presented arguments in the Court of Appeal to defend the law. 

The Court of Appeal panel includes two appointees of Republican governors and one appointee of a Democratic governor.  The Court of Appeal is expected to issue its decision within 90 days.

After the Court of Appeal issues its decision, a party can seek review in the California Supreme Court. 

Robbie Hunter, President of the State Building and Construction Trades Council, stated: "The Legislature has the right to spend State construction money to maintain a skilled and trained construction workforce and support middle class jobs, thereby using California’s tax dollars to drive the California economy.  This case will likely wind up in the California Supreme Court, and we are confident that Senate Bill 7 will be upheld."

The California Legislature filed an amicus curie brief in support of SB 7.   Amicus briefs seeking to invalidate SB 7 were filed by the Associated Builders and Contractors, the League of Cities, and the State Association of Counties.


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