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H.372

Introduced by   Representatives Brooks of Montpelier and Obuchowski of Rockingham

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Executive branch; state purchasing; Vermont products

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to require the commissioner of buildings and general services and the secretary of administration to procure Vermont goods and services when all other considerations are equal, and the Vermont goods or services are available at a price no more than five percent above the cost of like products produced outside the state.  The requirements for the purchase of Vermont goods and services would not apply if the purchase of items or the award of a contract would violate the specific terms to which Vermont consented under the Agreement on Government Procurement of the World Trade Organization.  The bill would also require the approval of the General Assembly in order to commit the state of Vermont to the terms and conditions of an international treaty.

AN ACT RELATING TO STATE PROCUREMENT OF GOODS AND SERVICES

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec.1.  FINDINGS

International trade agreements may impose powerful and significant restrictions on economic activities and growth in Vermont, including limitations on the state’s ability to act as a market participant and procure the goods and services it prefers.  Many international trade agreements entered into at the federal level by the trade representatives of the United States require state approval or commitment to comply.  These trade agreements are not presented to the General Assembly for review prior to approval by or commitment from Vermont.  Consequently, the General Assembly and the citizens of the state lose the opportunity to provide input regarding the economic commitments of the state.  This bill ensures that Vermont retains its discretion to act as a market participant and requires any international trade agreement submitted to the state of Vermont for approval to be presented to the General Assembly for authorization.

Sec. 2.  3 V.S.A. § 23 is added to read:

§ 23.  STATE ENTRY INTO OBLIGATIONS UNDER TREATY OR

          TRADE AGREEMENT

Neither the governor nor any other person or entity may subject the state to the terms of a treaty or international trade agreement entered by the United States that is inconsistent with state law, without the specific approval of the legislature to the terms of that treaty or international trade agreement.

Sec. 3.  3 V.S.A. § 2222(j) is added to read:

(j)  All goods or services procured by the secretary of administration shall be produced or manufactured by a business or industry located in Vermont and employing citizens of the state when available at no more than five percent above the cost of like products produced outside the state.  This subsection shall not apply if the purchase of items or award of a contract by the commissioner of buildings and general services would violate the specific terms to which Vermont consented under the Agreement on Government Procurement of the World Trade Organization.

Sec. 4.  29 V.S.A. § 903 is amended to read:

§ 903.  REQUISITION FOR SUPPLIES AND MATERIALS

* * *

(c)  Whenever any business or industry located in Vermont and employing citizens of this state has submitted a bid and the item has not been purchased from them, the The commissioner of buildings and general services shall record his reason for assigning the order as he did and his report shall be a public record available to any interested person purchase items or award contracts to a business or industry located in Vermont and employing citizens of the state when:

(1)  all other considerations required by subsection (b) of this section are equal; and

(2)  the goods or services offered by the Vermont business or industry are available at no more than five percent above the cost of like products produced outside the state.  All bids or quotations shall be kept on file in his office and open to public inspection.

* * *

(h)  Subsection (c) of this section shall not apply if the purchase of items or award of a contract by the commissioner of buildings and general services would violate the specific terms to which Vermont consented under the Agreement on Government Procurement of the World Trade Organization.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us