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Jacksonville, FL (July 28, 2020) – Councilman Becton was one of 14 Council members supporting out of 17 present during the July 28th Zoom City Council Meeting to vote for Bill 2020-238 regarding The Buy American-Made Goods ordinance.

Councilman Becton stated the following regarding the bill:

“I just want to say I am supporting this bill tonight. I think it does send a good message that Buying American products does matter,” Councilman Becton said. “And it’s not that we are trying to be punitive to anyone but we need to emphasize that made in the USA benefits us all.”

According to the Bill Summary, the bill creates a preference for American made goods in City procurement contracts by adding new language within Section 126.114, Part 1, Chapter 126 of the Ordinance Code. “The purpose of this legislation is to designate a domestic preference for goods that are manufactured, assembled or produced in the United States in City procurement contracts. The intent of the domestic preference is to promote the local economy, the economies of neighboring counties and municipalities, and to strengthen state and national economic interests.”

To qualify for this preference, 51 percent of the components of the final product manufactured, assembled or produced to be sold to the City must be made in the United States. The domestic preference will be given to a vendor offering American manufactured, assembled or produced goods, who is within five percent of the lowest bidder. The preference must be asserted by the vendor in the bid application with appropriate documentation. The Director of Procurement is charged with the implementation of the administrative policy or regulations consistent with this new Procurement Code Section.

The exceptions to this bill are specifically focused on “Professional Services, goods valued less than $10,000, bids for projects where federal funds are involved (the federal guidelines as to use of the federal funds shall prevail), goods or services provided under a cooperative purchasing agreement or utilization of other agency contracts (piggyback contracts), purchases made or contracts let under emergency or noncompetitive situations (sole source, or a special procurements/bid waiver), or for legal services, if the business is determined to be unqualified to perform the work as determined by the City, and if the business submits a bid that exceeds the projected budget.”

Council Member Rory Diamond introduced the bill back in May and it was approved with the following council members as co-sponsors: Council Member(s) Danny Becton, Michael Boylan, Matt Carlucci, Randy DeFoor, Al Ferraro, Reggie Gaffney, Sam Newby, Ju’Coby Pittman, Ron Salem, and Randy White. Council Member Aaron Bowman, Brenda Priestly Jackson, and Garret Dennis were not in support of the bill.

By Tiziana Onstead, District 11 Executive Council Assistant