Legislative Republicans are calling for more time to review state employee contracts, before lawmakers return to the Capitol later this month for a lame-duck session to approve the deals. State Representative Robin Vos (R-Burlington) says the move is highly unprecedented, and he wants the full language of the contracts posted on the state website before a vote takes place.
Vos and state Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), incoming co-chairs of the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee, sent a letter to Governor Doyle and the Department of Administration Wednesday asking for “maximum transparency” in the contract approval process.
Vos says he’s leery of deals being cut to push the contracts through, as Democrats prepare to lose control of the Legislature and Governor’s office in January. He says the lack of information being released only serves to confirm suspicions that things are being “hidden in there” to give union workers concessions.
Republicans want the contracts delayed until they control the next Legislature, although Vos admits Democrats have the right to push for a vote now. He just believes voters don’t want the process run this way.
Democrats argue the contracts have not yet been finalized, so full details can’t be released. Members of leadership have also pointed out that the contracts will only be good through July of 2011, include no pay increases, and require workers to make pension contributions.
Still, Vos says he’s worried they could make future negotiations difficult and impact the next state budget.