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The Boston Globe

Opinion

SCOT LEHIGH

Pacheco Law eats T money and options

Those who subscribe to the antique notion that state government should provide necessary services in a reasonably efficient manner have long objected to the Pacheco Law, which effectively prevents state agencies and authorities from contracting with private companies for work currently done by public employees.

That law, passed in 1993 at the behest of the public-sector unions, shields inefficient bureaucracies from the competitive forces that spur efficiency, creativity, and savings in the private sector. But the antiprivatization law has become a sacred cow for the state’s labor movement; on their secret endorsement questionnaires, unions regularly prod candidates to pledge their support for keeping — and sometimes even expanding — that ill-considered statute. Deval Patrick made just such a commitment when he first ran for governor in 2006.

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