Buckeye Farm News
Gov. Ted Strickland has signed Senate Bill 131, sponsored by Sens. Karen Gillmor, R-Tiffin, and Capri Cafaro, D-Hubbard, which will establish a bio-products preferred purchasing program, making Ohio the first state in the country with such a program in statute.
The bill would require state agencies and state-supported colleges and universities to give purchasing preference to bio-based products when they are available. It is similar to “Buy Ohio” provisions in current law, which say that the state must support Ohio vendors whenever possible.
“Thanks to recent advances in research and technology, acres of soybeans, corn and other agriculture resources growing across Ohio have the tremendous potential to transform our state into a center for bio-products development in this country, breathe much-needed life into our economy and create a market for good-paying jobs in our local communities,” Gillmor said. “This legislation will help further the development of the bio-products industry in Ohio by directing money the state is already spending to support companies that are manufacturing bio-based materials in our state and promoting the growth of other bio-products businesses.”
SB 131 is modeled after the Federal BioPreferred program, which was established in the 2002 Farm Bill. However, the federal program also includes a testing and certification process to create a list of approved bio-products. To save time and taxpayer dollars, SB 131 would rely on this federal list to determine what products should get preference in Ohio. In addition the bill allows for an exemption if the bio-product is not available within a reasonable period of time, fails to meet performance standards or is too costly.
OFBF strongly supported the bill.