Politics

PA Lawmakers Locked Out As Governor Negotiates Deals With Public Unions

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Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania expressed concern with the way Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and state union have been negotiating a multibillion dollar labor deal — that is, as they allege, completely behind closed doors.

In a letter issued Tuesday, key state lawmakers asked the governor to fulfill a request made by Republican Sen. Mike Folmer last week over the financial impact the secret union talks might have on the state. With the lack of transparency and how much Wolf’s campaign received from unons, critics have grown increasingly concerned over what the final labor deal would look like.

“His request was neither the specifics of the contracts nor the details of the negotiations,” the letter noted. “Rather, requesting Secretary Albright to provide his insight into how he developed cost estimates to properly budget for the proposed changes once they are negotiated.”

The letter was signed by the Republican Sens. Jake Corman,  Joe Scarnati, and Patrick Browne, majority leader, president pro tempore, and appropriations chair respectively.

“This request is not to interfere with the current negotiations of the collective bargaining agreement, but rather to gain a better understanding of the impacts these agreements will have on the General Fund as we move through the budget process,” the letter detailed. “We would appreciate a prompt response to Senator’s Folmer’s request.”

The Commonwealth Foundation noted particular concerns over how the governor has been handling the talks. The group notes that six of government unions he is currently negotiating with donated $2.6 million to his campaign.

“That’s the situation taxpayers face as their agent, Gov. Wolf, negotiates government union contracts worth nearly $3.4 billion behind closed doors,” the foundation noted in a press release. “Worse, those same unions were some of his largest campaign donors. This, after the governor himself criticized ‘back room deals that erode the public’s trust.’”

The governor’s office did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment at the time of publishing.

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Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.