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New York Governor signs MWBE legislation package

NY News - Published Oct 10, 2022

New York Governor Kathy Hochul recently signed a package of legislation affecting minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) into law. The three bills (those being A9259-A/S3390-A, A6420/S571, and A10459/S9351) were signed at the State's 12th Annual MWBE Forum.

A9259-A/S3390-A is a bill meant to prevent fraud and abuse by requiring prime contractors, before they are paid for procurement work, to submit standardized forms certifying that MWBEs they subcontracted to are in fact MWBEs and did in fact perform the relevant portion of work in question on the contract. The bill further creates a "minority and women-owned business enterprise fund" under the joint custody of the state comptroller and the commissioner of taxation and finance, which will be authorized to spend money on procedures and staffing for investigating and prosecuting fraud related to the MWBE program.

The bill A6420/S571 will allow businesses to refinance debts by means of access to the Minority- and Women-Owned Business Development and Lending Program. The bill describes provisions for businesses to make application to the program and terms for written justifications that must be made as to why their current debt is unreasonable in certain provided ways. 

A10459/S9351 authorizes the City of New York to increase the award amount threshold for non-competitive contracts that may be awarded to MWBEs from $500,000 to $1 million.

Additionally, Governor Hochul announced at the MWBE Forum that New York State surpassed its own MWBE utilization goal to achieve a utilization rate of 30.64 percent during fiscal year 2022, allowing New York State to claim the status of the state with the highest MWBE utilization rate in the country for a second consecutive year.

"New York draws strength from its diversity, and it is a priority for my administration to ensure that economic opportunities are inclusive and equitable across the state," Governor Hochul said in a statement.

Read the press release from the Governor's Office at https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-hochul-signs-legislative-package-strengthen-new-yorks-nation-leading-minority-and.

Read the bills in question at https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2021/a9259/amendment/a, https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2021/S571, and https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2021/S9351.