‘Buy American’ legislation heads to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk


Bill author says measure is meant to provide a boost to American workers.

Labor groups support the measure, but some state agencies say requirements could raise project costs

A measure that prods state agencies to buy iron and steel from the United States will head to the governor’s office after its passage in both the Texas House and Texas Senate over the weekend.

Senate Bill 1289 would require state entities with projects relating to the construction, remodeling, or altering of a building or infrastructure, including a road or highway, or who supply a material for such projects, to source iron or steel products from the United States.

The bill permits exceptions to the requirement if these products are not produced in sufficient quantities in the United States; if the use of products produced in the United States will increase the total cost of the project by more than 20 percent; or if complying with the requirement is inconsistent with the public interest, according to a Legislative Budget Board analysis of the bill.

The measure is meant to “provide an economic boost to American workers,” state Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, said in a statement.

Although some agencies said the requirements could raise the costs of some projects, the measure had the backing of labor groups.

“Taxpayer money should be spent to promote American jobs, not jobs overseas, ” said the Texas AFL-CIO in a statement of support.

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