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SB 778: No Local Preference in State Contracts

In an effort to eliminate local preference in the awarding of government building contracts, SB 778, a bill sponsored by Gainesville House Representative Keith Perry, was passed by Florida legislature, and was later signed into law by Governor Rick Scott on May 21, 2015.

At Trent Cotney, P.A., our Tampa construction attorneys have helped numerous firms through the bid protest process, so we believe it is important for construction professionals to familiarize themselves with this new law, as it may play a role in the awarding of future government contracts.

The biggest effect this will have is on Florida counties like Gainesville, for example, that had local preferences in place. In the case of the city of Gainesville, bidders with a license issued by the city were previously awarded government contracts over top-ranked bidders when within 5 percent of the bid price if the difference was below $25,000. Tampa tried to pass a similar bill in 2011, but the bill failed to pass. With this new state legislation, however, it is unlawful to give any local preference in the awarding of a bid when 50% of its funding is from state funds.

The new legislation will mainly affect transportation based contracts that rely heavily on funding from the state of Florida. If you specialize in other types of government work and regularly place bids for city, county and state projects, it is still important to familiarize your business with this new law and speak with your construction lawyers in Tampa about how the new legislation may play a role in your firm’s upcoming bids.

To schedule a consultation with an experienced construction attorney from Trent Cotney, P.A., please call us today at 813.579.3278 or submit our consultation request form.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

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