Diegnan, Greenstein Bill Would Grant Preference in Awarding Contracts to Vendors Employing Veterans

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Patrick J. Diegnan Jr., and Senate Law and Public Safety Committee Chairwoman Linda R. Greenstein that would provide the Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs (DMVA) with the discretion to grant preference in awarding contracts to vendors based on the number of veterans employed fulltime by that company passed the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee today.

“What this bill does is add incentives for companies seeking contracts with the Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs to hire our veterans,” said Senator Diegan (D-Middlesex). “If the agency is looking at several competing bids, it can look deeper into the top three bids and see the kind of commitment those companies have made to the brave men and women who have served our country. It comes down to this: If you want to do business with the Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs, you should be willing to build your business by employing our veterans.”

“The jobless rate of veterans has historically been higher than the rate for civilian workers, so this bill would help eliminate that disparity,” said Senator Greenstein (Middlesex/Mercer). “If a vendor is seeking a contract with the Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs, it is perfectly reasonable to want to see whether that vendor is committed to veterans. Adding this metric – how many fulltime veterans are on that vendor’s payroll – shows that the State of New Jersey recognizes the value and worth of every man and woman who has served the nation.”

Under this bill, S-2493, the Adjutant General could grant a preference for a particular contract based on a prospective vendor’s number of fulltime employees and the percentage who are veterans. If it were determined that the vendor misrepresented that number, the vendor would lose the contract and would be barred from doing business with the DMVA for a period of five years.

The bill was released from committee by a vote of 4-0, and next advances to the full Senate for consideration.