(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Senator Donald Norcross (D-Camden/Gloucester) that would allow municipalities or counties to implement a local public contract set-aside program for business enterprises owned by veterans was passed in the Senate today. Current law allows local governments to create a set-aside program for women, minorities and small businesses. The bill, S527, will amend the local set-aside statute to include a qualified veteran business enterprise set-aside program.
“We are providing local government the tools to help veteran business owners and unemployed veterans,” said Senator Norcross. “Service men and women deserve this support at all levels. They have fought for our country and have earned everything we can give them.”
To qualify, a business must be at least 51% owned and controlled by a veteran, or agree to hire veterans if additional workers are required to perform the contract. The governing body will then allocate a specific percentage of the dollar value of total contracts to be awarded as set-aside contracts.
“I look forward to seeing this legislation passed in the Assembly and then signed into law,” Senator Norcross added. “This timely legislation will help the overall economy. Small businesses are the building blocks of a stronger economic future.”
The bill passed the Senate with unanimous support. Fifth District Assemblymen Angel Fuentes and Gilbert “Whip” Wilson are prime sponsors of an identical bill in the Assembly, which is currently being considered in the Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.