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Commonwealth Foundation President Matt Brouillette: Transparency Bills Finally Shines Light On Gov. Wolf's Back Room Deals

By Dom Giordano

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Commonwealth Foundation and President, Matt Brouillette spoke with Talk Radio 1210 WPHT midday host Dom Giordano about Governor Tom Wolf's budget and his "back room deals."

"You have a governor that has proposed a 16% increase in spending and its certainly going to pay off some of its biggest campaign contributors that being the government employee unions. Low and behold Governor Wolf gets to negotiate behind closed doors, contract worth billions of dollars with his biggest campaign contributors and well this budget is certainly going to benefit them as well. So, you've got a combination of things working here against the interests of the tax payers and fortunately there's some efforts to shine some light on these back room deals."

Brouillette said that bills such as one of the Transparency Bills (Giodano uses the one that was just passed in the State Senate as an example), would help in exposing what happened in those negotiations and future deals.

"[It] would have the independent fiscal office do a note, essentially saying this is how much it's going to cost the tax payers before this actually gets consummated and signed into a contract. So, basically putting a price tag on what the governor and the unions have negotiated...The second bill would allow for a waiting period of two weeks when a contract is agreed to and when it is actually signed, thereby giving the tax payers the opportunity to weigh in on what kind of deal was made on their behalf by our governor."

Even though they did not bring this up during previous administrations, he feels that it is a partisan issue, because it will be the same new rules for any Republican run Pennsylvania in the future.

"This is something that we should have been doing a long time ago so, shame on us for coming late to this party, but it is important. Of course we are dealing all sorts of fiscal and financial challenges in our commonwealth. So, we need to have more openness and transparency so that we know exactly how tax payers' dollars are being spent.

Brouillette's main objective in these bills is "really about making sure that the tax payers are protected in all of these negotiations going forward."

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