Governor David A. Paterson today submitted legislation to expand the procurement opportunities for Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) in New York State.
The Governor’s Program Bill would enact the recommendations made by the MWBE Task Force, which the Governor created to review the State’s utilization of MWBE underwriters and other professional services. Their final report, issued last month, outlined legislation to improve MWBE access to procurement processes and promote the use of MWBE and non-MWBE firms that have sound diversity practices.
“New York is the business capital of the world, leading the way toward prosperity, and as such we should be leaders in minority entrepreneurship,” Governor Paterson said. “The legislation that I have submitted today will ensure that the progress of the MWBE Task Force continues for years to come, bringing permanent change and reform to the way New York does business. By doing so, we not only help businesses thrive, we will help our State recover from recession.”
The proposed legislation would provide a framework so that MWBEs may participate in the State’s procurements and establishes standards to hold State agencies and public authorities accountable for their commitment to MWBE participation and diversity in the area of procurement. The legislation would also ensure that State entities review the proposer’s employment practices and hiring practices, wherever practicable, feasible and appropriate, to promote the State’s interest in contracting with firms with a commitment to a diverse workforce.
The key provisions of the legislation would:
The legislation would also require that each State authority’s procurement guidelines do the following:
“This legislation lays the foundation for a new generation of business owners who will create economic opportunities for people who desperately need it. Together we will renew the promise of our State and rekindle the spirit of entrepreneurship that has made New York the Empire State,” Governor Paterson added.