New York's MWBE program facing staunch opposition in the Senate

Andrew Cuomo stands with construction workers
Andrew Cuomo stands with construction workers
Judy Sanders/Office of the Governor
Gov. Andrew Cuomo poses with construction workers on the New NY Bridge Project.

New York's MWBE program facing staunch opposition in the Senate

A key law underpinning the state program may lapse this year.
March 27, 2018

For years, Albany has taken steps to boost businesses owned by women or minorities, but supporters of those efforts are warning that a key law underpinning the state program may lapse this year. The state law, known as Article 15-A, is the foundation for the state program that seeks to award more government contracts to minority- and women-owned business enterprises, or MWBEs. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration has significantly increased the share of state contracts going to such firms – but the program is facing threats, including a lawsuit brought by the construction industry, and now staunch opposition in the state Senate.

“It’s been a real battle behind the scenes, and there are real significant players who support the governor but who were kind of blindsided when it was taken out of the budget by Senate Republicans,” the Rev. Jacques Andre DeGraff, a longtime MWBE proponent, told City & State on Monday. “So now the MWBE community is looking to the Second Floor to ensure that it stays, because if it does not pass in the budget, many of us feel that it would be the death knell of opportunity programs for the state.”

Jon Lentz
is City & State’s editor-in-chief.
20190824