The SVO sent a letter to the California Assembly Committee on Local Government in support of Assemblyman Ash Kalra’s bill, AB 707. The bill, if enacted, would increase the formal bidding minimum for Santa Clara Valley Water’s public works contracts to $50,000 from $25,000.

This change increases the amount of public works contracts available through the Water District’s informal bidding process, which makes more work available for small to medium-sized contractors. Often times, these smaller businesses do not have the resources necessary to participate in a formal bidding process as it requires administrative staff to navigate the City process.

This type of change is similar to San Jose’s 2018 Measure S which passed and increased San Jose’s informal bidding process from $100,000 to $600,000.

The SVO is proud to support small and medium-sized contractors by advocating for these changes.

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For more information, see our advocacy letter below:

On behalf of The Silicon Valley Organization (The SVO), we are writing to convey our support of your legislation, AB 707 (Kalra).

The SVO is the Silicon Valley’s premier business advocacy organization representing nearly 1,200 companies that employ over 300,000 workers, and we represent our membership as the region’s largest Chamber of Commerce.

The majority of our members are small businesses, many of whom are contractors who would benefit from an increase in access to the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s contracts through an increase in the District’s informal bidding process from $25,000 to $50,000. This change is good for business and is also good for our local infrastructure as minor public works projects will be able to be addressed faster.

Last updated more than 20 years ago, Valley Water’s cost threshold for formal bid contracting has eroded to the point where very small projects now trigger a formal process intended for larger public works contracting. This mechanism is too costly and time-consuming for small projects, requiring highly-structured offer, bidding, and contract award procedures that are cumbersome for many potential bidders. By increasing the cost threshold, more small projects will be contracted using an informal bid process in which quotes are requested from known responsible contractors that comply with labor and wage requirements, and the company best suited to do the work is selected.

For the above stated reasons, we strongly support your bill AB 707

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