STATEHOUSE – State Representative David Ober’s (R-Albion) first bill passed out of the General Assembly today receiving a 45-2 vote in the Senate. House Bill (HB) 1589, known as the Ports of Indiana Procurement and Public Works Bill, will now go to governor’s desk and wait for his signature before becoming a law.
“It is very exciting to see my first bill benefiting Hoosiers receive bipartisan backing and pass through the legislative process,” said Rep. Ober. “The legislation intends to increase public project cohesiveness and efficiency by streamlining the public bidding process.”
Once signed by the governor, 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. “We must continually assess how state government operates and the standards being implemented – seeking ways to improve procedures like the public bidding process. We can accomplish this by observing what has worked in the past for other agencies like INDOT, currently use the $150,000 bidding guideline, which has proven a reasonable standard to use.”