Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Bill Would Establish 3% Bidding Preference for Washington State Businesses

In a move that is consistent with actions by many public agencies across the country seeking to protect and stimulate local business growth and stability, House Bill 1355 was introduced into the Washington State Legislature.

3% Bidding Preference:  The bill would establish a 3% bidding preference for Washington State businesses in the award of public works, personal service contracts, and the purchase of goods and services by state agencies (including educational institutions).

Applicability of the Preference:  If HB 1355 is approve, it would apply:
  • Only to state agencies and not to local agencies
  • To contracts awarded on or after January 1, 2012
  • For contracts less than $1 million
  • Might not apply to purchases from multistate contracting consortiums if waived by the state
How an In-State Bidding Preference Would Work:  Here's an example of how a 3% bidding preference for Washington State firms would work in practice.  If the low bid was $100,000 from an out-of-state firm, but the second low bid was within 3% of $100,000 ($103,000 or less), then the Washington State business with the $103,000 bid would be awarded the project at the higher bid amount.

Purpose and Philosophy:  The bill notes the purpose and philosophy behind the proposed legislation:
"The legislature finds that private sector businesses in this state are the foundation of the state's economy through their power to generate jobs for state citizens and revenues in support of state programs.  The legislature further finds that the state's private sector is the best means for keeping the state's revenues working to enhance both state and global economic development.  Therefore, when the state participates in the market through state purchasing, it is vital to the state and serves a public purpose to promote the fullest possible participation of the state's private sector businesses in that procurement process."
Resources:  Here are links to a couple of previous blog entries I've written about what North Carolina and others have done to address the interests of local businesses:
Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2011 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC 

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