Representative Mac Toole has introduced H.4739 that addresses the issue of state agencies competing with private business. Rep. Toole, a member of the Small Business Chamber’s Board, obtained 28 other co-sponsors to the bill. The bill requires that state agencies get permission from the Budget and Control Board in order to produce goods and services to be offered to private individuals and businesses. The agencies would have to show that such goods and services were not readily and competitively available from the private sector and that producing the goods and services measurably enhances the agency’s ability to perform its primary governmental purpose. This bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
Senator Jake Knotts led an effort to attach the language of H.4739 as an amendment to the Life Sciences Act in the Senate. This effort was defeated by a successful challenge by Senator Hugh Leatherman arguing that the amendment was not germane to the bill. Senators Knotts, Drummond, Ravenel, Reese and Kuhn will continue their efforts to advance H.4739 via an amendment to some other bill reaching the Senate floor.