As Mt. Rose Interchange Project exceeds three-year delay, Senate committee advances Phillips-Hill’s measure addressing procurement issues


HARRISBURG – The Senate State Government Committee unanimously advanced a measure sponsored by Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York) that would require the Commonwealth to look at a proposed contractor’s performance in other states as part of a comprehensive grading process prior to awarding bids.

“A simple Google Search reveals that the winning bidder for the Mt. Rose Interchange project on Interstate 83 has a public track record of change-order scheming in other states,” Phillips-Hill said.

The state’s procurement code requires state agencies to award bids to the lowest responsible bidder. However, the law provides stipulations for suspension or debarment of contractors based on work performed in Pennsylvania.

Phillips-Hill’s bill would expand the review into a bidder’s performance in other states, including the ability to meet deadlines and unbalanced bids.

“While the lowest bid sounds good on the surface, the state should do its homework to make sure we do not allow documented bad actors to win major contracts that inevitably lead to higher costs, delays that exceed the original length of the project and many, many headaches. I am grateful my colleagues saw fit to approve of this legislation to avoid any future Mt. Rose Interchange debacles,” she added.

The legislation now moves to the full Senate of Pennsylvania for further consideration.