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Source : Arlington National Cemetery
July 6, 2021
Author : Alex Bustillos
The package includes a number of provisions that would benefit veterans outside of contracting, but one piece of legislation being pushed by Senator Vin Gopal (D), Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling (D), and Assemblywoman Joann Downey (D), A4042, would create a price preference program with state contracts for service-disabled veteran-owned businesses (SDVOBs).
What that would mean is if a SDVOB’s bid is within 10 percent of the lowest bidder on a project, the state would award the SDVOB with the contract.
Lawmakers have also put forward a bill that would take $2.5 million from the state’s federal CARES Act grant and give it to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority with the purpose of supporting veteran-owned businesses.
“While we will never be able to fully repay our veterans for their service, as legislators, we strive to make sure they get the same opportunities as every resident to realize the fruits of that independence: Success in a job or business, access to a good education, home ownership, and a safe place to live,” the three lawmakers said in a Fourth of July op-ed.
“When we ensure their participation in the benefits of a prosperous middle class, we build a stronger economy and a fairer, more equitable and affordable society. That’s why we fought hard in Trenton to make honorably discharged veterans eligible for a $6,000 exemption on their 2019 state income tax returns,” they wrote.
These are the kinds of steps necessary to ensure that veterans are able to prosper as entrepreneurs in today’s market. As Contractor News has previously reported, most state and local governments lack set-asides in public works projects. You can read our deep dive on the subject here.