MWBE: Eliminate the $3.5 Million Cap on Personal Net Worth
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Dear Governor Cuomo:
We, the MWBE Community, are respectfully requesting that you sign the Personal Net Worth Elimination Bill (A2819/S3018) into law. This bipartisan legislation, sponsored by Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte and Senator Patty Ritchie, will allow Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) to achieve their full economic potential by eliminating the $3.5 million personal net worth requirement especially for those in both the construction and financial sectors, to grow and participate in government contracts. These sectors have minimum income requirements that need to be met in order to be eligible to bid, win mid-size projects, and gain access to capital. It will also enable prime contractors to fulfill their 30% MWBE sub-contracting goal.
The late Governor Mario M. Cuomo created the Article 15A program, which authorized the State's MWBE Program consistent with Richmond v. Croson, 488 U.S. 469, (1989), a Supreme Court ruling without any personal net worth component. This subsequently changed in 2010 when the cap was added. The notion of implementing the cap is not found within the Croson decision, which is the leading case in this arena. The need for the cap has been confused with Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) programs, a federal program mandated by Congress, which includes the personal net worth provision to narrowly tailor the program in the absence of a Disparity Study. However, because New York State has conducted a disparity study and its program has been narrowly tailored, implementing a cap is redundant.
We are asking you to move forward with Governor Mario Cuomo's vision to increase opportunities for MWBEs by eliminating this unnecessary section of the law.
We thank you in advance for you time, and look forward to working together on this important issue.
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