Maine Senate President proposes bill to "Buy American, Build Maine"

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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - A proposed bill in Augusta would give preference to Maine companies when public dollars are spent.

Senate President Troy Jackson's, D-Allagash, Buy American, Build Maine Act would allow Maine companies a second chance at state bids if an out-of-state bid was lower. If two bids were similar, the Maine business gets the edge.

It also requires all state agency construction projects on public buildings use American manufactured goods.

Jackson says it's about putting Mainers first.

"I believe that Mainers should support Mainers," said Jackson. "They buy local. They both recognize and appreciate the quality of Maine-made products. So this bill is about putting our values into state law. It's about keeping our tax dollars here in Maine and putting them to use supporting our small businesses and growing the economy."

We're told 38 states have provisions that give preference to in-state companies.