Brooklyn Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte has welcomed the signing of legislation that expands the Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) program.
On Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law legislation that extends the program that promotes greater opportunities for MWBEs through state and city contracts.
“I thank Gov. Cuomo for signing these MWBE bills that include allowing the extension of Article 15-A and further expansion of the MWBE program”, said Bichotte, chair of the Subcommittee on the Oversight of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises.
She said the changes that have been incorporated allow for a “more robust and transparent program” and expand the reach of qualified businesses with the program’s increased Personal Net Worth cap to $15 million.
The changes also, among other things, increase the state and the city’s discretionary spending to $500,000, with a certification extension to five years.
“This is certainly the right step forward to our ultimate goal of economic inclusion and equity in the state of New York for the MWBE community,” said the representative for the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn.
Cuomo said “the extension and expansion of New York’s nation-leading MWBE program will help ensure our economy is reflective of our values and of our diverse talent pool.
“Diversity is New York’s greatest asset, and, by signing this measure into law, we will empower more women and people of color to participate in state contracts and continue our aggressive program to make contracting even more inclusive,” he added.
Bichotte said the support from her colleagues, including Senator James Sanders, Jr. and members from the MWBE Community, has been “phenomenal.”
“Collectively, we were able to achieve these great accomplishments and look forward to exceptional results over the course of the next five years,” she said.
Bichotte said A.8414/S.6575, also known as the “MWBE Omnibus Bill”, reauthorized the MWBE program, Article 15-A, for another five years, through Dec. 31, 2024.
Other key elements of this measure include extending the term of certification from three years to five years; increasing discretionary purchasing threshold from $200k to $500k for agencies and authorities; increasing the Personal Net Worth cap from $3.5 million to $15 million; providing outreach events, training and educational opportunities by Division of MWBE; establishing a Workforce Diversity Program requiring state agencies overseeing construction projects to utilize a diverse workforce; establishing a mentorship program; decreasing the response for deficient applications to 21-days and determination for completed applications to 45 days.
Bichotte said A.7795/S6301 authorizes the Dormitory Authority of the Stat of New York (DASNY) to establish a four-year Procurement Pilot Program / Mentor Capacity Program.
Additionally, she said A8407/S.6418A authorizes the increase of the threshold of the discretionary purchasing authority under the New York City MWBE program from $150k to $500k, including School Construction Authority and the Department of Education; and authorizes a Mentor Capacity Program at the Department of Design and Construction (DDC).