BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Researchers at the Pioneer Institute claim that the failure to privatize bus services at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has cost taxpayers $450 million in savings.

The state’s anti-privatization law restricts government agencies from entering into private contracts for work that could be provided by public employees. Bus services tend to be a lot cheaper when it’s provided by private companies. It’s the route many public transit agencies are taking around the country.

State budget negotiators agreed to suspend the anti-privatization law for three years. This would allow private companies to come in and contract work at the MBTA. It’s a major hit to the unions.

Governor Charlie Baker told 22News “This wasn’t about privatizing the T. It wasn’t about laying off scores of people. This is about using the opportunity to contract services out to enterprises and entities that are already out there.”

The proposal is tucked into the overall state budget. It must be approved by state lawmakers and signed into law by the Governor.