Wednesday, January 13, 2010

More opportunities ahead for minority/women owned businesses? -INDIANA

LEGISLATION REQUIRES STATE GRANT RECIPIENTS TO MEET HIRING GOALS

By Dan Carden - dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 | Posted: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 12:00 am

INDIANAPOLIS | Any construction project or purchase made by a state grant recipient would have to meet minority and female hiring goals under legislation approved by the Indiana House.

State Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon, D-Munster, sponsored House Bill 1014, which passed the House 79-18 on Tuesday.

The measure requires the Governor's Commission on Minority and Women's Business Enterprises to set annual goals for the use of minority and female businesses. State grant recipients would have to demonstrate they've made a good-faith effort to satisfy those goals as a condition of their grant.

Candelaria Reardon said the legislation "is essential for businesses owned by minorities and women at the state and local levels to encourage their continued and future growth."

Local governments that receive state grant money are most likely to be affected by the legislation. State agency contractors already have to comply with minority and female business enterprise goals.

"If we have standards at the state level, then people using state money should have to follow those same state standards," Candelaria Reardon said.

State Rep. Phil Hinkle, R-Indianapolis, disagreed. He said the legislation would be an "unfunded mandate" on local government, forcing local governments to spend money to comply with a new law without giving them the resources they need to do it.

A report on the legislation's fiscal impact from the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency said local governments would have only minimal administrative costs if the proposal becomes law.

The legislation now heads to the state Senate for consideration by that body.



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