Competitive Bidding Bill Scheduled for July 12 Hearing

A bill requiring school districts to utilize competitive bidding for school construction projects has been scheduled for a public hearing  before the Assembly Committee on Local Government, chaired by Rep. Ed Brooks (R-Reedsburg). The hearing will be held:

Wednesday, July 12
11:00 AM 
Room 400 Northeast, State Capitol

Assembly Bill 307, 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, authored by state Rep. Robert Brooks (R-Saukville, pictured) and state Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville), 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.

Under the bill, competitive bidding need not be used if either of two exceptions applies:   (1) If the school board, by a three-fourths vote of all the members, provides that any construction, repair, remodeling, or improvement or any part thereof may be done directly by the school district; or (2) if the supplies or materials for a project are donated or if the labor for such a project is provided by volunteers.

In addition, the bill provides for an exception to the competitive bidding requirement for repair or reconstruction of a public school building or a public school facility when the damage or threatened damage to the building or facility creates an emergency, as determined by a resolution of the school board, in which the public health or welfare of the school district is endangered.