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St. Louis lawmaker proposes strengthening city MWBE program
Published on 03/12/2018

City of St. Louis Alderman Jeffrey Boyd is advocating for BB 270, a measure that would add teeth to the City's requirement that companies awarded taxpayer-funded contracts consider minority- and woman-owned business (MWBEs) subcontractors on those contracts.

The measure contains a number of components, foremost among them being the approval of a Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Program at the city level, as well as increasing the percentage goals on city contracts for MWBE participation, adding a mandatory one-year disqualification for contractors failing to meet MWBE subcontracting goals, and other measures. The new MWBE participation goals are split out to 21 percent African-American, 11 percent women, 2 percent Hispanic, and one-half of 1 percent Asian and Native American.

BB 270 also contains provisions to increase training and certification opportunities for MWBEs.

The bill has met some opposition from contractors, though, who are opposed to the elimination of a currently-allowed 72-hour period during which contractors can assess bids and speak with subcontractors regarding bid details. Alderman Boyd, however, has countered by arguing that the waiting period allows contractors to lowball MWBEs or back out from hiring them after entering preliminary contracts with them.

To read BB 270 in full, visit https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/government/city-laws/board-bills/boardbill.cfm?bbDetail=true&BBId=11042

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