By Kevin Mooney, The Pelican Post
Rep. Tony Ligi (R-Metaire) would like for taxpayers to have a seat at the table when public employee unions negotiate with government officials over the size and scope of their compensation and benefit package. To this end, he reintroduced a bill in the current legislative session that would have subjected collective bargaining sessions to open meetings law requirements. This means any document created or presented during the sessions would be available to the public and the details attached to collective bargaining agreements posted on the Internet.
Last year the “Public Employee Bargaining Transparency Act” was blocked in the House and Government Affairs Committee in an 8-7 vote. This time around HB 89 made it to the House floor after passing the committee by an 8-2 margin with Reps. Jared Brossett (D-New Orleans) and Randal Gains (D-LaPlace) opposing the measure. Instead of risking defeat in what would have been a very close vote on the House floor, Ligi reached a compromise with the Louisiana Federation of Teachers and other opponents.