The Iowa Senate has approved legislation that would give preference to Iowa businesses when the state is purchasing certain supplies and services.
Lawmakers passed the measure 34-16 Tuesday with bipartisan support. It would give Iowa-based businesses a second chance to match the lowest bid by an out-of-state business for goods and services that cost the state under $500,000.
Bill sponsor Sen. Liz Mathis, a Democrat from Des Moines, says the measure levels the playing field.
Iowa law already says state departments must give preference to Iowa businesses during a competitive bidding process. But Mathis says her bill is more precise and fair.
Data from the state Department of Administrative Services shows almost half of Iowa's last 100 purchases were from out-of-state businesses.
The measure now heads to the House.