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State contracting bill heads to Senate floor

The Senate Committee on Ethics Reform and Government Operations on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill designed to bring more transparency to state contracting projects.

The bill, authored by state Sen. Julie Lassa, D-Stevens Point, requires state agencies to collect and report data about how contractors are used. It also reforms the way cost benefit analyses are prepared to accurately reflect the true costs of contracting work out instead of using state workers.

The bill also requires the state to exercise better quality control over work done by contractors and recoup funds when contractors engage in fraud or fail to perform up to standards.

The bill, Lassa said in a press release, was inspired by the state’s increased use of private consultants and concerns that the state could be saving money on projects by using its own staff.

Lassa said she hopes the bill will go to a Senate floor vote later this month.

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