Senate panel OKs bills to tighten contract process

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A Senate committee has approved three bills aimed at making it harder for state agencies to award no-bid contracts to outside contractors.

One bill, by Democratic Sen. Lowell Barron of Fyffe, would require that all state work for more than $7,500 be submitted to a formal bid process. Barron said that includes work done for any branch of government, including the Legislature or a state agency under the control of the governor. Another bill, by Democratic Sen. Roger Bedford of Russellville, would require that contractors disclose any subcontractors who will work on a state contract.

The committee also approved a bill by Democratic Sen. Quinton Ross of Montgomery that would allow the Legislature's Contract Review Committee to delay a contract for up to 90 days. The committee currently can delay a contract for up to 45 days.

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