TUCKER / EVANS / WATSON COLEMAN / RAMOS BILL TO ENSURE WOMEN AND MINORITIES WORK IN PUBLIC PROJECTS NOW LAW

(TRENTON) — Legislation sponsored by Assembly members Cleopatra Tucker, Elease Evans, Bonnie Watson Coleman and Ruben J. Ramos Jr. to ensure women and minorities benefit from construction contracts was signed into law Monday by Gov. Jon S. Corzine.

The law (A-4082) requires state and local public bodies entering into construction contracts worth more than $1 million that are funded – in part or in whole – by public dollars to transfer 0.5 percent of the amount funded by public money to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

The department will use the money for outreach and training programs for minorities and women.

“We must ensure that public construction contracts, especially amid this difficult economy, benefit all segments of our community, including women and minorities,” said Tucker (D-Essex). “This law not only does that, but helps ensure future generations will get the training they need to continue taking part in such work.”

“When it comes to public projects, everyone deserves an equal chance to participate,” said Evans (D-Passaic). “We cannot let this opportunity pass without ensuring everyone enjoys the same access to jobs.”

“This law is especially important as we move forward with our many federal and state stimulus projects and position New Jersey to thrive once the economy turns the corner,” said Watson Coleman (D-Mercer). “This is the time to take the steps needed to make sure everyone benefits from the new jobs these programs will create.”

“Nothing is more important in this economy than creating jobs, but we also must make sure everyone has a chance at those jobs,” said Ramos (D-Hudson). “No one can be left behind.”

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