During Tuesday night’s mayoral debate, Councilor at Large John R. Connolly and state Representative Martin J. Walsh engaged in several heated exchanges about unions, campaign spending, and negative tactics, all while tossing out facts and figures to bolster their arguments. Here, we take a look at a few of the claims, to sort out fact from fiction.
ISSUE: Did Walsh file legislation designed to ensure that a city or town could afford an arbitrator’s award?
When Walsh was attacked over arbitration legislation he has filed in the State House of Representatives, he defended the bill by suggesting it would beef up budgetary protections for cities and towns. “Built into that legislation was a provision saying an arbitration award would have to be based on the ability of a city or town to pay for that award,” he said. “That’s what the intent and the aim of my bill was to do.”
FACT: Walsh is wrong. His bill would not install new fiscal safeguards. Walsh’s legislation would eliminate the requirement that a city council approve arbitration awards for police officers and firefighters. The ruling of an arbitrator would be final and binding under his bill. State law stipulates that arbitrators must consider what a municipality can afford. That would not be an added protection, as Walsh suggested.
ISSUE: Did unions give $2 million to Walsh’s campaign, as Connolly stated?
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