Legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Bob Andrzejczak and Vince Mazzeo to create a state contract set-aside program for businesses owned and operated by disabled veterans continues to advance in the legislature, receiving approval by a Senate panel on Thursday.
The sponsors noted that the set-aside program would create economic opportunity for disabled veterans and recognize their service and sacrifice.
“Technical and leadership skills acquired through military service can easily translate into successful entrepreneurship,” said Andrzejczak (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland). “Disabled veteran-owned businesses have made significant contributions to New Jersey’s economy. This legislation would continue to support our disabled veterans who aim to start or grow their businesses.”
Under the bill’s (A-976/S-1353) provisions, the Department of Treasury would be directed to administer a state contract set-aside program for disabled veteran business owners. It establishes a goal that contracting agencies set aside at least 3 percent of their contracts for disabled veterans’ businesses.
“The challenges of returning home and to work after service are very different for disabled veterans,” said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). “By creating a dedicated resource for disabled veteran business owners, we encourage entrepreneurship which encourages a stronger New Jersey economy.”
A disabled veterans’ business is defined as a business which has its principal place of business in New Jersey, is independently owned and operated and at least 51% of which is owned and controlled by persons who are disabled veterans.
Seven other states have enacted similar legislation which supports veteran-owned businesses: California, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Maryland and New York.
The measure, which was approved by the full Assembly in February, now awaits final legislative consideration by the full Senate.