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Lawmakers move to blacklist companies who build Trump’s border wall from state contractor lists

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California lawmakers are looking to strong-arm companies that helps build President Trump’s border wall by blocking them from receiving any future state contracts.

A bill by Democratic state Sen. Ricardo Lara seeks to permanently ban any company from receiving or extending a contract with the state of California if that organization participates in the building of the wall along the 2,000-mile US-Mexico border, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“The wall is another attempt to separate and divide us,” Lara told the Senate Governmental Organization Committee hearing testimony on Tuesday. “It sends a message that we are better off in a homogenous society.”

It remains to be seen if the overreaching bill gets signed into law, but this is California, after all.  Senate Bill 30 already passed out of committee on a party line vote leaving Republicans and construction industry representatives alarmed.

“This is precedent-setting,”Todd Bloomstine, a lobbyist representing the Southern California Contractors Association said. “What next unpopular project would be [on the] blacklist?”

Presumably, contractors could legally challenge the policy in court if it becomes law, as the California government would basically be shutting out companies from competitive bidding on projects if they bid on other federal projects not approved by the legislature.

Lara urged colleagues Tuesday “to be on the right side of history,” promising to amend the bill to exclude any work that companies began before the bill’s becomes law, the LA Times reported.

“By not supporting this bill you are consenting to the policies of hate and xenophobia,” Lara told the Senate Committee. “I’m asking you to be on the right side of history.”

Felipe Fuentes, from the Associated General Contractors of California, slammed the bill warning it would create a blacklist of contractors who are helping with border security.

“What we’re doing here is very dangerous in that we’re creating a slippery slope and handpicking projects that are not politically favorable to the California Legislature,” the former Los Angeles City Council member said, according to Courthouse News.

An analysis by the Senate Governmental Organization Committee raised issues echoed by Republicans and members of the construction lobby.

“If the state of California is prohibited from awarding or renewing contracts with companies that have worked on the border wall,” the analysis stated, ” would that begin a slippery slope of adding other projects to that list? What would that mean for the competitive bidding process?”

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Frieda Powers

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