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Legislation introduced to beef up USDOT DBE provisions

News - Published May 12, 2022

U.S. Representative Jesús "Chuy" García (IL-04) has introduced a bill, referred to as the "Giving Disadvantaged Businesses Opportunities for Success Act", intended to promote governmental contracting opportunities for minority- and woman-owned businesses (MWBEs).

The bills provisions include: adjusting the net worth caps for DBEs upwards from the curent limit of $1.32 million by accounting for inflation since 2011, when the current caps were set, and also requiring further adjustments for inflation on an annual basis; making the definition of "small business concern" used by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) consistent with the one used by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA); requiring USDOT to exclude the same assets from its personal net worth test for DBEs that SBA excludes under the Small Business Act; making DBE certifications nationally reciprocal in all states "without additional procedures"; requiring USDOT to give annual awards to states running the best DBE programs, and to give them priority in discretionary grant programs; and requiring USDOT to contain a public database containing all waivers and exemptions from DBE requirements that have been granted by governmental agencies.

"Latino, Black, and Women-owned businesses deserve an equitable portion of contracts in the transportation and construction industries [...] it's long past time Congress level the playing field for minority-owned businesses in this sector," said Rep. García in a press release.

Read the press release from Rep. García's office at https://chuygarcia.house.gov/media/press-releases/rep-garcia-introduces-new-bold-legislation-to-strengthen-opportunities-for-latino-and-mwbe-businesses.