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Source : Contactor News
February 21, 2023
Author : Alex Bustillos
The New Jersey Senate Commerce Committee has advanced legislation that, if passed, would allow the state's Department of Treasury to certify businesses owned by LGBTQ+ individuals (or LGBTBEs) in the same way that they currently directly certify M/WBEs.
The bill explicitly enables the Treasury's Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services to make these certifications (also in line with the current M/WBE certification policy. It also permits the Division to accept certifications from other sources or reciprocal agreements, but it also establishes a program for the Division to certify LGBTBEs independently. The bill states that a recognized LGBTBE will be “qualified for any applicable State programs and initiatives for LGBTQ+ enterprises”.
The bill was referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee after being released from the Senate Commerce Committee with a 4-0 recommendation.
Gov. Phil Murphy issued Executive Order No. 295 in May 2022, asking the New Jersey Department of Treasury to establish a state-backed certification program for LGBTQ+-owned businesses. The free certification will provide access to public and private contracting opportunities and allow companies to identify as "LGBTQ+ owned" in their advertising.