Del. bill would put union reps on benefits panel

Randall Chase, Associated Press

DOVER, Del. (AP) -- The Delaware Senate has passed a bill to add representatives of public employee labor unions to the panel that controls and manages state employee benefits.

The bill, opposed by Gov. Jack Markell, cleared the Senate 11 to 8 on Tuesday and now goes to the House.

A previous version of the bill cleared the Senate last year before dying in the House.

The bill would expand the State Employee Benefits Committee to include two union representatives chosen by the governor from the state teachers union, the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, the prison guards union and the state troopers association.

Opponents say union representatives are paid to seek greater benefits for their members, while the committee has a fiduciary duty regarding the state's use of taxpayer dollars.