Morrison: Local lawmaker cuts red tape for public universities

Posted by: Jessica Baker  | Wednesday, May 28, 2014

STATEHOUSE – House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1361, authored by State Representative Alan Morrison (R-Terre Haute), was signed into law by Governor Pence. This legislation reduces government bureaucracy for state educational institutions managing public works projects by increasing the bidding threshold for these projects. HEA 1361 provides greater flexibility for state universities planning capital projects as well.

“In order to increase efficiency and reduce the burdens facing Indiana’s public colleges, I authored House Enrolled Act 1361 to streamline the public bidding process, which can be very costly and time consuming for state universities,” said Rep. Morrison.

Currently, state law requires projects that cost over $25,000 for Indiana’s public colleges go through the public bidding process. Administrative costs and ads in the newspapers are some of the expenses attached to this procedure. HEA 1361 raises the bidding threshold to $150,000, which is intended to save state colleges both time and money.

Additionally, HEA 1361 is intended to help public universities better manage larger capital projects like purchasing land or buildings. Currently, new constructions projects that cost over $500,000 require the Commission on Higher Education (CHE) as well as the governor’s office to review before construction can begin. Likewise, for any project that uses state funds or student fees, the General Assembly must review and approve prior to construction. Under this new law, effective July 1, only projects costing over $2 million will require prior review from the CHE, the governor or the General Assembly.

“This bill will free up time for the Commission on Higher Education and the General Assembly as well as return control to Indiana’s universities,” said Rep. Morrison. “Most states and government agencies do not require extensive review for smaller projects, and I’m confident that our universities are capable of managing these projects themselves. 

Visit www.in.gov/legislative/ to learn more about HEA 1361 or www.in.gov/legislative/house_republicans/ to learn more about Rep. Morrison.

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