Egan & Diegnan Bill to Bolster U.S. Economy Gains Assembly Panel Approval

Legislation Requires Exclusive Use of Materials Made in America

Legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Joseph V. Egan and Patrick J. Diegnan that would require public agencies to use materials manufactured in the United States to complete publicly financed projects was approved by an Assembly panel on Thursday.

“As we continue to rebound from the Great Recession and strengthen our economy, it’s critical that we take advantage of all opportunities to keep jobs and dollars in America,” said Egan (D-Middlesex/Somerset), Assembly Labor Committee chair. “This bill package is one of those opportunities, and we cannot afford to let it pass us by.”

“This legislation, in addition to being a route to a better economy, is about New Jersey taking pride in this nation’s products,” said Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “It’s about investing in America’s future.”

Specifically, the bill (A-3059) would require that vendors receiving contracts, including public work contracts, with public entities including the state and its political subdivisions, and public institutions of higher education, purchase manufactured and farm products from the United States to fulfill those contracts.

The provisions of the bill apply only to contracts which exceed the applicable bid threshold, which is the dollar amount above which a contracting public agency is required to advertise for and receive sealed bids in accordance with procedures set forth pursuant to law.

The bill allows for certain waivers from the purchasing requirements under specified circumstances due to the availability and cost of particular products manufactured in the United States.

The bill also requires certain businesses that receive state contracts or development assistance from the state to disclose where the services covered by the bid, contract, or development assistance are being performed and establishes a joint task force to conduct a study of the impact of job exportation on the state economy.

Currently, 22 other states require the use of, or give a preference to, American products or manufactured goods when public entities purchase certain goods or services.

The bill was approved by the Assembly Budget Committee.