Brockton rep cites MBTA workers’ rights in voting against budget

Rep. Michael Brady (D) Brockton

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, JULY 8, 2015…..Saying his experiences as a union member helped shape his views, Brockton Rep. Michael Brady said he cast the lone House vote against the $38.1 billion annual budget bill on Wednesday because it suspends the so-called Pacheco law for three years at the MBTA.

“I’m against suspending the rights of workers for three years,” Brady told the News Service in an interview in his office shortly after Wednesday afternoon’s 153-1 vote on the final budget bill.

The Pacheco law requires state agencies to prove to the state auditor that any privatization of state service will result in cost savings and will not reduce the service. Critics have long said the strictures of the law hinder the ability of the private sector to help state government and it favors keeping jobs with public employees.

In April the Brockton Democrat joined the unanimous 158-0 vote in favor of the House budget, which included a five-year suspension of the Pacheco law at the MBTA.

“We were hoping to continue to work on something to come up with a resolution on that, and it didn’t happen the way I felt was necessary,” Brady said, explaining his vote in favor of the lengthier suspension of the Pacheco law. “And there’s other things in the budget I support that are great for our community and I support the budget as a whole, but I wasn’t happy with the conference committee for that reason.”

The budget cleared the Senate 31-5 on Wednesday, with opponents of the bill flagging the Pacheco law suspension at the MBTA as a major concern and painting a dire picture of public employees about to lose their jobs to profit-seeking private companies. Some senators expressed opposition to the law’s suspension but said those concerns were outweighed by their support for other timely budget measures.

Failures at the MBTA during the incredible snow and cold this last winter motivated Gov. Charlie Baker to remove the MBTA from the Pacheco law’s strictures. After the House passed a five-year suspension of the Pacheco law at the T, a House-Senate conference committee on Tuesday night filed an annual spending bill that suspends the law at the T for three years.

Copyright 2015 State House News Service

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