STA Appointed to State MWBE Policy
STA representatives have been appointed to the New York State Legislature’s new MWBE Policy Development Group, to help negotiate an Article 15-A MWBE reform bill before the end of this year’s legislative session. The MWBE Policy Development Group was organized by Senator James Sanders (D-Queens) and Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte (D-Brooklyn), who chair their respective chamber’s MWBE subcommittees. The Policy Development Group will work closely with both state legislators and the Governor’s office over the next several months to draft a new MWBE law for New York, as the current program sunsets this year.
To deal with the complexity of the MWBE program, the MWBE Policy Development Group has been divided into 10 working groups to tackle clusters of issues, and STA will serve on two: The Capacity Building and 30 Percent Goal working groups. The Capacity Building group will take on issues related to increasing MWBE firm capacity and stability, such as mentorship programs; and payment issues, including prompt payment reform and delay damages. The 30 Percent Goal group will focus on current agency MWBE participation goals, whether they are realistic, and how they may better reflect market realities in the construction trades. These working groups will convene weekly until a new bill has been negotiated, with the intent to have a final bill ready for consideration by the full legislature before the Senate and Assembly adjourn for the year in late June.
The MWBE Policy Development Group was created when it became clear that this year’s state budget would not address the expiring MWBE program. The goal was to invite key industry players to participate in a vehicle for discussion, negotiation, and agreement on an improved state MWBE law that will hopefully work better for all participants. The STA was one of several influential, leading construction organizations asked to participate in the Policy Development Group by Senator Sanders and Assemblywoman Bichotte. The STA is represented in the weekly working group meetings by STA Executive Director Hank Kita, Legislation Committee Chairman Arthur Rubinstein, and STA lobbyist Perry Ochacher.