Gov. Tom Wolf just signed Senate Bill 644, empowering the Independent Fiscal Office to estimate the cost of government union contracts before they are finalized.
Matthew Brouillette, president and CEO of CF responded:
For years, the government has negotiated billions of dollars in contracts with public sector unions, many of which donate heavily to the very politicians they’re negotiating with. As a result of this legislation, costs negotiated in secret will come to light before, not after, contracts are ratified. We commend Sen. Folmer and members of the state Legislature for championing this critical reform.
Gov. Wolf has been a vocal advocate for transparency reform. He should be applauded for walking the transparency talk and putting people before public union interests.
We hope the governor applies this accountability measure to contracts he is currently negotiating, even if they are resolved before the law goes into effect in 60 days. Such action would resonate by providing greater transparency to all Pennsylvanians.
The contracts under negotiation could add significant costs to the 2016-17 budget, putting more pressure on state lawmakers to raise taxes.
Meanwhile, there are two more contract transparency reforms making their way through the legislature.
- SB 645, sponsored by Sen. Patrick Stefano, requires public sector collective bargaining agreements to be posted on state, school district, or local government websites two weeks prior to signing.
- SB 643, sponsored by Sen. Ryan Aument, requires public notice and open meetings when public sector collective bargaining agreements are negotiated.