Small Business Legislation

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Service-disabled veteran owned small business legislation proposed

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PVA has recently expressed support for two measures aimed at improving state level contracting opportunities for Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs).  Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) recently introduced H.R. 6603, the Service Disabled Veteran Infrastructure Investment Parity Act, to correct an unfortunate omission under the current highway bill, the FAST Act. This bill would allow SDVOSBs to receive contracting priorities for transportation funding under the FAST Act.

In 1999, Congress passed the Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act. This bill established a government-wide contracting goal for businesses owned by veterans with service-connected disabilities. Under the FAST Act, federal dollars are distributed to the states in order to fund roads and bridges but many of these states do not have the same contracting goals as the federal government. Congress set a goal that 10 percent of dollars allocated for infrastructure projects should be extended to certain small businesses known as Disadvantaged Business Enterprises, or DBEs. While this program has been in existence for decades, it does not take into account the needs of small businesses run by service-connected disabled veterans in awarding infrastructure contracts.

Because of this, many SDVOSBs do not receive the contracting preference they would receive under federal contracting rules. H.R. 6603 would amend the FAST Act to include SDVOSBs in an already existing 10% contracting carve out that includes women and socially or economically disadvantaged small businesses.

Meanwhile, Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) are also preparing to introduce similar legislation to address this issue that will take a slightly different approach.  Their bill would create a new contracting target goal for SDVOSBs under the FAST Act. Their bill would grant service-connected disabled veterans access to contracting goals for infrastructure projects by creating a 5 percent goal for SDVOSBs, in addition to the 10 percent DBE contracting goal program.


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