(HARRISBURG) — The House today approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Tommy Tomlinson (R-Bucks) that encourages state agencies to contract with veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses.
Senate Bill 623 would require the Commonwealth to set annual goals for contracting with small businesses owned by veterans. The bill is modeled after similar veteran work promotion programs established by federal procurement standards.
“This legislation will help to ensure that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania gives our veterans consideration for contracting opportunities with the state government,” Tomlinson said. “Our service men and women are leaving their jobs and small businesses to serve our country. It is only fitting that we provide them with the outreach assistance and opportunities when they return home.”
Under the bill, the Department of General Services would provide training to help veteran-owned businesses learn how to apply for state contracts. The department would also make available lists of veteran-owned businesses to encourage participation with these businesses.
Tomlinson said his bill is an outgrowth of a successful program, VETWORK YOUR BUSINESS, which was launched in 2005 by The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. It provides service-disabled veterans and veteran owned businesses with the training and contacts necessary to access large private sector companies for contract opportunities.
“Senate Bill 623 would take this concept and apply it to state contracting to ensure that veterans are aware of the business opportunities that are available to them with Commonwealth agencies,” he said. “Veterans will gain access to valuable small business resources, tools, contacts, and networks that will help them to grow and succeed.”
“I am thankful for The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce’s support and insight on this legislation and for Governor Corbett’s support through his Executive Order to increase contracting and subcontracting opportunities for veterans and service-disabled veterans in the Commonwealth.”
Fran Cleaver (717) 787-5072