Contract Transparency: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

State union contracts worth billions of taxpayer dollars would be available for public inspection before being signed by the governor, if proposals unveiled by two state Senators become law.

The Patriot News reports Sen. Mike Folmer is introducing legislation that would require the Independent Fiscal Office to assess the cost of proposed state union contracts. Sen. Pat Stefano has a separate bill that would require all levels of government to post contracts online before acting on them (see our post on a similar House bill).

ABC 27 explains how Gov. Wolf will be negotiating sate employee contracts worth about $3.3 billion with union leadership that contributed $2.6 million to his election campaign.

Without reform, these contracts would go on behind close doors despite the clear conflict of interest. As Bob pointed out last week, 11 states have enacted contract transparency.

What does Gov. Wolf say about such proposals? Well, not much, though his spokesman, Jeff Sheridan, offers some insults to anyone supporting these commonsense transparency and good government reforms.

We should remember Gov. Wolf’s own words—”If you don’t agree with my ideas, here is my request: please come with your own ideas. It’s not good enough to just say no and continue with the same old same old.”

Transparency is an idea whose time has come. If Gov. Wolf and his administration have better ideas for opening up state contract negotiations and ending this inherent conflict of interest, they should bring their solutions to the table.