Bid preference for hiring local workers weighed

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A proposal to give bidding preferences to companies that employ mostly Colorado workers for state projects is getting its first hearing.

The bill is one that Senate Democrats have heralded as one of the main features of their job-creation plan this legislative. But the idea is not welcomed by Republicans and some business groups.

Senate Bill 1 would give a bidding preference to companies for state service and construction contracts if they show that at least 90 percent of their employees are Colorado residents. The companies would get an additional edge in the bidding process if they provide health care and retirement benefits to workers.

Republicans say the bill puts additional burdens on businesses.

Similar legislation sponsored by Democrats failed in the previous session.