U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and John Cornyn (R-TX) have introduced legislation to expand the number of federal infrastructure contracts awarded to small businesses owned by veterans with a service-connected disability (also referred to as SDVOSBs).
The legislation, entitled The Disabled-Veterans Rebuilding Infrastructure to Vitalize our Economy (DRIVE) Act, would create a spending goal of 5 percent of the funding that was authorized in the prior highway bill to be awarded to SDVOSBs.
That bill, the FAST Act (or Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act) was signed into law in 2015 and authorized $305 billion from fiscal years 2016 through 2020 for spending on a variety of infrastructure projects, heavily geared towards highway projects. The bill created a goal of 10 percent of spending to be awarded to disadvantaged business enterprises (or DBEs), meaning the DRIVE Act's proposed 5 percent of spending to be awarded to SDVOSBs would be in addition to the prior DBE goal. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) estimates that there are approximately 20,800 SDVOSBs in America.
The DRIVE Act is supported by the Paralyzed Veterans of America, the American Legion, High Ground Veterans Advocacy, and Vietnam Veterans of America and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
More information can be read in a press release from Senator Peters' office, at https://www.peters.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/peters-cornyn-introduce-bill-to-expand-opportunity-for-disabled-veterans-in-highway-projects.