On March 17, 2010, Mississippi Governor Hayley Barbour signed into law an amendment to Mississippi’s public bid law, more specifically, to Mississippi’s resident “preference law.” Miss. Code Ann. § 31-3-21(3). Under this recent amendment, all non-Mississippi resident contractors who bid on Mississippi public works contracts must attach to their bid a copy of their own state’s bidder preference laws. In other words, if a Louisiana resident contractor wants to bid on a Mississippi public works contract, that contractor must attach to his bid a copy of Louisiana’s resident bidder preference laws, or else the Mississippi public agency must reject the bid.

Each state has different resident bidder preference laws. Some states require either that a non-resident’s bid amount be reduced by a certain percentage or that a resident’s bid be increased by a certain percentage if a non-resident bidder also bids on the project. Other states require that a resident bidder’s amount be increased only to the same percentage as allowed in a non-resident’s state, if a non-resident bids on the contract. Still other states have no bidder preference laws at all. The Association of General Contractors of Mississippi promoted this amendment to the statute in hopes of benefiting the Mississippi construction industry, as prior to this amendment, the failure to include a copy of the non-resident bidder’s state preference laws was insufficient grounds to reject the bid.

Be aware that when bidding for public works projects in Mississippi, Louisiana contractors must attach a copy of Louisiana’s bidder preference laws.