NEW JERSEY – Senator Steve Oroho’s legislation to secure a share of projects funded through the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank (NJIB) for small businesses owned by service-disabled veterans passed the Senate Environment and Energy Committee Thursday.
“Veterans who were disabled as a result of serving our country have earned special consideration,” said Oroho (R-24). “This legislation will help provide dollars and opportunity to veterans who were injured and are now in the contracting business or provide services or materials for government projects.”
Currently, when a project receives money from the NJIB, local government units are required to award a minimum of 10 percent of any contract for construction, materials or services to companies owned and operated by members of socially and economically disadvantaged groups.
Oroho’s bill (S-2576) revises the law to include service-disabled veterans, as defined by the federal Small Business Act, in the category.
“This will give veterans a chance to compete for projects without closing the door to opportunity to others,” Oroho said. “The federal government has made a commitment to Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB), aiming to provide them with a minimum of 3 percent of all federal contracting dollars. Now New Jersey will be stepping up to show our gratitude and to help bolster the economic position of qualifying veteran-owned enterprises.”
In addition, for projects that receive federal funding, Oroho’s measure would provide that the percentage of contracts awarded to service-disabled veterans would equal the participation goals established by the Small Business Act.
New Jersey’s Infrastructure Bank is an independent state financing authority, in but not of the Treasury authorized to issue revenue bonds to make loans to finance the construction of eligible environmental and transportation infrastructure projects.