Legislators in Louisiana are proposing an ingenious bill entitled, “Public Employee Bargaining Transparency Act” (PEBTA). If enacted, Louisiana would become only the seventh state to have their government truly negotiate these collective bargaining agreements in view of the public. Louisiana would join Florida, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Tennessee, and Texas. The act specifically calls on the state to “provide for legislative intent; to provide with respect to public access to collective bargaining sessions and to documents; to provide definitions; and to provide for related matters.” Basically, it allows the taxpayers in the state to observe the actions of elected officials in matters of how their tax dollars are spent.
The Public Employee Bargaining Transparency Act should be added as an amendment to series of legislative proposals to limit collective bargaining rights. The addition enhances freedom and democracy for citizens. No longer could elected or unelected officials freely dole out favorably contracts to their cronies without repercussions. Collective bargaining limitations only achieve so much. They do not stop officials from negotiating fiscally irresponsible contracts with public workers.