STATEHOUSE – Freshman State Representative David Ober (R-Albion) passed his first bill unanimously through the House earlier this week. House Bill (HB) 1589, known as the Ports of Indiana Procurement and Public Works Bill, will now go to the Senate for further consideration.
“Coming to the Statehouse, my goals were to listen, learn and jump right into the legislative process by creating and supporting legislation that benefit people living in my district and throughout the state,” said Rep. Ober. “I am pleased that my first bill passed out of the House with unanimous support, which I believe increases public project cohesiveness and efficiency.”
If enacted, the bill changes the threshold amount for public bidding on Indiana’s ports from $25,000 to $150,000. This increase is intended to bring ports to the same standard that the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), higher education institutions as well as cities and towns use for public project bids. In addition, this increases efficiency by allowing smaller projects, under $150,000, to forgo the notice and procurement process.
Indiana is currently in charge of operating three ports including one on Lake Michigan and two on the Ohio River. According to the Ports of Indiana, more than 60 companies operate across Indiana’s 2,600 port acreage with 800 of those acres available for future development.
“With Indiana’s ports being a major economic contributor, I believe this bill will save them both time and money,” said Rep. Ober. “In addition, we must continually review how our government operates, the standards being used and constantly seek ways to improve that institution by using a system, implemented by our cities, towns and INDOT, which has proven to run effectively.”