LOWELL -- A state legislative committee will hold a public hearing Wednesday on a bill that would make it illegal for public agencies to complete major construction projects without a public bidding process -- much like the Lowell Housing Authority did in recent years.

The hearing on Democratic state Rep. Peter Kocot's bill will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday in room B-2 at the Statehouse.

Rather than seeking bids and signing contracts, the LHA turned to in-house and local union employees, known as "force-account" labor, to complete the rehab of units from 2008 to 2011 with federal funds.

The federal government allows the use of force-account labor, a practice which House bill 2842 would limit.

Kocot's legislation would make it illegal for public agencies to use a "force-account practice" or a similar practice not in line with the state's public-construction bidding laws for any construction work costing $100,000 or more.

The committee holding the public hearing on Kocot's bill and several others Wednesday is the Legislature's Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight, which Kocot chairs.

Kocot is a Democrat from Northampton.

Follow Moran on Twitter @lylemoran