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House Passes Measure to Require State to Buy Maine Products When Possible

Lawmakers in the Maine House and Senate worked into the evening Thursday to resolve nearly three-dozen calendar items that included numerous bills in which House and Senate votes conflicted with one another.

Several bills prompted brief debates, including one committee report requiring state government to purchase Maine-made products and contract services from Maine businesses whenever possible.

“It would ensure that our state government always makes an honest effort to purchase Maine goods, services and hire Maine-based companies when awarding state contracts,” said Democratic Rep. Mark Bryant of Windham, who supported the measure. “The majority report retains this language. It also establishes a procurement board to evaluate state contracts worth $1 million or more, which would help ensure that taxpayer dollars are being used wisely.”

The measure passed in a 75-73 vote that divided largely along party lines. The bill faces additional floor votes.

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