Lawmakers to Consider 'Buy Nebraska' Legislation

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Lawmakers will consider a bill this year that would give Nebraska-based companies an edge over out-of-state companies when bidding on state contracts.

State Sen. Heath Mello of Omaha introduced the "Buy Nebraska Act." He proposed the measure after he was contacted by a south Omaha data-entry firm, which had lost out on a Nebraska Game and Parks Commission contract by less than $20. The contract went to an out-of-state business.

Mello says 46 other states have some type of resident-bidder preferences in either their laws or procurement rules, and his bill is intended to keep jobs in Nebraska.

The state awards more than $2 billion in contracts for goods and services each year. Mello says the state doesn't track how much of that money flows out of Nebraska.

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