Freshman lawmaker’s first bill signed into law
STATEHOUSE – Governor Mike Pence signed House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1589, known as the Ports of Indiana Procurement and Public Works Bill, into law today. State Representative David Ober (R-Albion) was the author of the legislation. This is Rep. Ober’s first bill to become law.
“Working through my first session, I was grateful to have bipartisan support for this bill in both chambers. It will truly benefit Indiana’s port ways and expand our state’s trade capabilities,” said Rep. Ober. “The legislation intends to increase public project cohesiveness and efficiency by streamlining the public bidding process.”
The law changes the threshold amount for public bidding on Indiana’s ports from $25,000 to $150,000. This increase brings Indiana’s 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, which currently uses the $150,000 bidding guideline and has proven to be a reasonable standard to use.”
Visit www.in.gov/legislative for more information regarding HEA 1589 or www.portsofindiana.com for more information on the Ports of Indiana.