BOSTON (AP) -- State legislators have apparently decided not to restrict non-compete agreements in the private sector.

A compromise version of an economic development bill does not include language that would discourage businesses from asking employees to sign the agreements, which can limit the ability of workers at cutting-edge technology firms to quit their jobs and take their knowledge to competitors.

Gov. Deval Patrick has said non-competes stifle competition. He proposed eliminating the agreements and implementing the federal Uniform Trade Secrets Act in Massachusetts.

Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce President Paul Guzzi backed the Legislature’s decision to keep the state’s current law on non-competes, saying it strikes an "appropriate balance" between the interests of companies and workers.

Lawmakers are expected to vote on the economic development bill today, the final day of the formal legislative session.


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