(Washington, DC)— U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-Milwaukee) reintroduced legislation that would apply standard Department of Transportation (DOT) contracting goals for minority-owned and operated small businesses to future high-speed rail construction projects.
Congresswoman Moore said, “My bill simply holds high-speed rail projects to the same standards as other infrastructure projects funded by the federal government. Minority-owned businesses have more acutely felt the impact of this recession. This legislation would ensure fairness and tear down the barriers that have traditionally ensured that these businesses are last in line.”
The DOT’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program helps give small businesses owned and operated by economically and socially disadvantaged individuals a better chance to work on federally- funded transportation projects. Since 1998, DOT has been required to direct at least 10 percent of total funding for highways, highway safety, public transportation and aviation construction to such small businesses.
Moore’s bill would apply the same 10 percent standard to high-speed rail funding to help create an unbiased contracting process for small businesses owned and operated by women, African- Americans, Native-Americans, Latino-Americans, Asian- Americans among others.
Moore said, “Small businesses are key to economic growth and development, and especially right now, they need every opportunity they can get.”