Earlier this week, Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed Assembly Bill 1717, authored by Assembly Member Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Davis), which would have changed the definition of public works to include fuels reduction projects done under contract, thereby requiring prevailing wage for projects paid for in part or whole by public funds beginning in 2024.  

In his veto message, Governor Newsom expressed concerns that the administrative requirements associated with prevailing wage contracts would delay crucial wildfire mitigation projects necessary to protect vulnerable communities across the state. RCRC opposed AB 1717 throughout the 2022 legislative session due to the onerous burdens and costs that would have been imposed on fuels treatment and forest resilience projects in rural communities that rely on public funds to safeguard residents from the impacts of wildfires and requested a veto once the measure was approved by the Legislature.  

The Governor’s veto message can be viewed here. For more information, please contact RCRC Senior Policy Advocate, Staci Heaton