Contact: Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Coordinator, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA — The Greenlining Institute applauded today’s decision by Gov. Jerry Brown to sign AB 53 (Solorio), important legislation that will boost California small businesses and bring jobs and opportunities to California’s underserved communities

Modeled on a successful program covering the state’s utilities and telecommunications companies, the new law requires the largest insurance companies doing business in California to annually report on how much they contract with businesses owned by women, minorities and disabled veterans.

“This law means new opportunities for California businesses and more jobs for California workers,” said Greenlining Institute Executive Director Orson Aguilar. “California policyholders put over $100 billion in premiums into the insurance industry each year, mostly to companies headquartered out of state, but until now, we’ve had no clue whether any of that money was invested back into California small businesses. Now, we’ll have a better idea of where our premium dollars are going, and we know from past experience that simply shining a light on contracting practices makes a real difference.”

Aguilar noted that the California Public Utilities Commission’s program, upon which AB 53 was modeled, has produced a steady increase in contracting by utility and telecom companies with businesses owned by women, minorities and disabled veterans — a record-setting $1 billion last year.

Greenlining analyzes the results of the CPUC’s supplier diversity program every year. The latest report is available at /issues/energy/supplier-diversity-report-card-2012/.

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THE GREENLINING INSTITUTE
A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute

www.greenlining.org