2009 House Bill 4228

Ban government competition with private enterprises (“yellow pages test”)

Introduced in the House

Feb. 11, 2009

Introduced by Rep. Tom McMillin (R-45)

To prohibit government agencies from competing against private enterprises, or subsidizing any charitable or not-for-profit institution that would use the support to compete against private enterprises. Activities normally provided by government would be exempted, including "essential services" and "necessary services," both defined in the bill. "Vital services," including things like food stores, drugstores, child care, elder care, and telecommunications services could only be provided if there were no private sector alternatives. Privatization of essential and necessary services would be explicitly allowed, including water supply, sewers, garbage and trash removal, recycling, utilities, streets and roads, public transportation, correctional facilities, fire departments, emergency services, and medical services. A private enterprise could sue to obtain an injunction forcing the government competitor to stop, and would only have to show prima facie evidence that the government entity is or is planning to compete, not that the private enterprise has been damaged. Governments already providing commercial goods or services would be grandfathered, but could not expand.

Referred to the Committee on Government Operations