Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Veteran-owned Business Legislation Marching Forward

A bill introduced in the Washington State Legislature has been approved by a vote of 48 to zero in the State Senate.  Engrossed Senate Bill (ESB 5041) would affect state agencies in the award of contracts to veteran-owned businesses.  

Under the legislation, "state agencies are encouraged to award three percent of all procurement contracts that are exempt from competitive bidding requirements under RCW 43.19.1906 (2)" to businesses to be certified by the Department of Veterans Affairs as being at least 51% owned and controlled by veterans or active or reserve members of the U.S. military.   

RCW 43.19.1906 (2) addresses competitive exemption requirements for the purchase of goods and supplies.  State agencies would also be required to perform outreach to veteran-owned businesses to increase contracting opportunities for them. 

The 3% goal would would also presumably apply to public works and personal service contracts, although from my reading the bill is not clearly drafted.  When including public works and personal service contracts, it refers back to the requirements of RCW 43.19.1906 (2) which appear to only apply to goods and supplies.

A hearing has been scheduled before the House Committee on State Government and Tribal Affairs for February 18, 2010 at 8:00 a.m.

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