Fuentes, Wilson & Conaway Bill to Boost Veteran-Owned Businesses or Businesses that Employ Veterans Advances

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Angel Fuentes, Gilbert L. “Whip” Wilson and Herb Conaway, M.D. to authorize a local public contract set-aside program for business enterprises that are owned by or that employ veterans was released Thursday by an Assembly panel.
The measure (A-1133) provides that the governing body of a county or municipality may establish a qualified veteran business enterprise set-aside program. In authorizing such a program, the governing body of a county or municipality shall establish a goal for its contracting agencies of setting aside a certain percentage of the dollar value of total procurements to be awarded as set-aside contracts to qualified veteran business enterprises.
“Let’s do what we can to help our veterans stay in business and keep their jobs,” said Fuentes (D-Camden/Gloucester). “We’ve seen shocking levels of unemployment among our veterans, so this is a simple and sensible step toward ensuring we do what we can to honor the sacrifices they’ve made to us.”
“Veterans deserve our best,” said Wilson (D-Camden/Gloucester), an Air Force Vietnam veteran. “Anything we can do to help them keep their businesses open or help them keep their jobs is the right thing to do.”
“Giving county and local governments the flexibility to help veterans during this tough economy is the right call,” said Conaway (D-Burlington). “If this can help them keep their doors open or keep them on the job, then let’s do it.”
The bill was released 5-0 by the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.