STATEHOUSE—Two bills authored by State Rep. Tom Dermody (R-LaPorte) that aim to encourage the growth of Indiana businesses passed out of committee today and, if the Democrats return, will be heard by the full House. The Committee on Utilities and Energy voted in favor of House Bill (HB) 1201 concerning communications provided by the state, and the Government and Regulatory Reform Committee passed HB 1223 which would give preference to Indiana businesses in public works contracts.
HB 1201 would allow the state to fund emergency 911 and law enforcement communications, as well as provide service to universities if students and faculty can directly benefit.
“This bill would not allow the state to expand their telecommunications programs that would compete with businesses that provide the same services in the private industry,” said Rep. Dermody. “There are 300,000 Hoosiers out of work, and we need jobs in Indiana. Encouraging businesses to make investments in our state is a top priority and this bill will help to us to better reach that goal in the telecommunications industry.”
Rep. Dermody’s second pro-job proposal would require preference to be given to Indiana contractors on public works projects. The bill also stipulates that bidders may not know the amount for bids of other contractors, leveling the playing field. Contracts would have to be promptly awarded to the lowest qualified bidder.
“This bill is just common sense,” said Rep. Dermody. “It makes sure the state doesn’t overpay for public works projects using taxpayer dollars, and aims to help Hoosier businesses rather than out-of-state firms.”
The Ind. House of Representatives still remains at a halt due to a Democrat walkout.