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The Senate Commerce Committee for the State of New Jersey has advanced legislation that, if passed, would authorize the State's Department of the Treasury to certify businesses owned by LGBTQ+ individuals (or LGBTBEs) in the same way that the Department currently directly certifies minority- and woman-owned business enterprises (MWBEs).
The bill, sponsored by Senator Nellie Pou and Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Ruiz, would specifically authorize the Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services within the Treasury to make these certifications (also in line with current MWBE certification policy). The bill also allows for the Division to accept certifications from other sources or reciprocal agreements, but sets out a program by which the Division can independently certify LGBTBEs. The bill specifies that a LGBTBE so certified will be "eligible for any appropriate State programs and initiatives for LGBTQ+ businesses" but does not create any specific program goals.
The bill was released from the Senate Commerce Committee with a 4-0 recommendation and was most recently referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
"Businesses owned in whole or in part by LGBTQ+ individuals touch all aspects of the economy and add to the commercial diversity that is part of our shared social identity," said Senator Pou in a press release.
Read the bill at https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/bill-search/2022/S3460.