Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, has announced that Senate Bill 947 has successfully completed its journey through the Senate, as it passed unanimously off the Senate floor.
“SB 947 is a vital step in bolstering public trust in government and offers key, common-sense protections to the brave whistleblowers who put public safety above their own self-interests. I am very pleased to have the support of my Senate colleagues,” Wilk said in a prepared statement.
SB 947 provides the same whistleblower protections afforded to state employees to the employees of private entities that hold contracts over $5 billion with the state, empowering those employees to report any improper activities without fear of repercussion or retaliation.
SB 947 was inspired by whistleblowers who, in the midst of a pandemic, put their own financial security on the line to report the dangerous mismanagement of the PerkinElmer COVID testing lab in Valencia, according to the statement released by Wilk’s office. The lab not only failed to meet the testing quotas it promised in exchange for a $1.7 billion state contract, but its failings also included tests that were inaccurate and overseen by unlicensed staff.
“The Valencia lab fiasco was exposed by whistleblowers, and eventually the lab’s contract was quietly cancelled — a testament to the importance of the role of whistleblowers in exposing problems,” Wilk said.
SB 947 now moves on to the California State Assembly.