...Restricting competition in that manner carries a cost. A study of Massachusetts school construction projects by the Beacon Hill Institute, Suffolk University’s market-oriented think tank, estimated that PLAs added 12 percent to construction costs. (Institute studies of school construction in Connecticut and New York found that PLAs led to even larger increases in bids or actual construction costs). Even if the effect were only half that, it would mean an extra $60 million for these two projects. The state can’t afford to pay that kind of pointless premium. The Patrick administration should reverse this decision."