Contractors can’t sidestep a conflict-of-interest law

an illustration of a hammer and bricks

An attempt to exempt certain government contractors from conflict-of-interest laws failed to get off-the-ground.

AB 626, authored by Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, an Orange County Democrat, tried to exempt contractors including architects, engineers and geologists from being deemed financially interested in a project.

Supporters of the bill said current law prevents capable contractors from working on several phases of a project: If they were involved early on, they can’t bid on work down the road. Opponents argued that if one contractor could be involved in multiple parts of a project, that could create a conflict of interest.

The bill was sponsored by engineers and architects, and opposed by general contractors.

—Elizabeth Castillo