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Hearing Scheduled on Bill Requiring Schools to Use Competitive Bidding

By John Forester | September 27, 2017

The Senate Committee on Economic Development, Commerce and Local Government, chaired by Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville), will hold a public hearing on Senate Bill 236 requiring all school districts (including MPS) to utilize competitive bidding for school construction projects or for the furnishing of supplies or materials in excess of $75,000, next Tuesday, October 3 at 10:30am in Room 330SW, State Capitol.  An amendment to the bill that has been introduced would reduce the bidding threshold in the bill to $50,000, down from $75,000.  The bidding threshold in current law for counties, municipalities and other local governments other than schools is $25,000.

Senate Bill 236 would require that a school board, before entering into a contract for the construction, repair, remodeling, or improvement of a public school building or public school facilities or for the furnishing of supplies or materials with an estimated cost greater than $75,000, must advertise or direct the school district clerk to advertise for proposals and must let the contract to the lowest responsible bidder.

The bill would also prohibit a school board from using a bidding method that gives preference based on the geographic location of the bidder or that uses criteria other than the lowest responsible bidder in awarding a contract.

The SAA testified in opposition to Assembly Bill 307, the companion bill to SB 236, at an Assembly hearing in July (See SAA Testimony).

The SAA opposes SB 236.  SAA members interested in testifying against the bill should contact SAA as soon as possible.

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