"Buy Iowa First" Proposed Again

Date: April 19, 2016 Last Edit: April 20, 2016

Bill would give priority to Iowa businesses bidding on state contracts.

“Buy Iowa First” Proposed Again

For the second year in a row, a
bill that would give preference to Iowa-based companies

bidding on state contracts was introduced in the state Legislature.

The bill would allow Iowa companies to match lower
out-of-state bids if the bid is less than $500,000 and if the Iowa company’s
bid is within 5 percent or $10,000 of the lowest bid, whichever is lower. Road
construction or repair would not fall under the bill; neither would
architectural or engineering services.

In addition, the bill would require that any response to a
request for bids or proposals less than $500,000 show that the submitting
company paid taxes in Iowa during the most recently documented fiscal year.

The bill passed the House in March. Last year, a similar bill
passed
the Senate
, but some lawmakers feared the bill would hurt
local companies instead of help them.

Many Iowa companies do business in neighboring states, and
there was concern the bill could hurt companies’ relations with out-of-state
businesses. 

However, others argued the bill would have helped keep state
contracts within Iowa by giving Iowa-based companies first priority to meet an
out-of-state bid. 

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