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New Law Strengthens Minority Business In NY

 ALBANY, NY -- Governor David A. Paterson was joined by Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes and local stakeholders for a ceremonial bill signing of the Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) "Emerging Managers" bill (A.9976-C / S.6888-C).

"I am pleased to sign this bill into law, as part of my Administration's ongoing efforts to ensure our State corrects the long-standing disparities in government contracting and procurement," Governor Paterson said. "This legislation is another step we as a State have taken to improve equity in the procurement process and facilitate greater access for Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises. Through such actions and initiatives we not only help businesses thrive, we will help our State back on the path of economic recovery and prosperity."

The new law will create an Emerging Manager and MWBE financial services strategy to allow greater diversification and expansion of MWBE contracting goals with the State. This legislation will help ensure that emerging investment managers, under the oversight of the State Comptroller, have the ability to invest with MWBE financial institutions and to adopt a strategy that motivates investments in underserved areas of the State.

Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson said: "The Emerging Managers bill intends to bring our State procurement process into the 21st Century by removing barriers that have historically prevented women and persons of color from reaching full economic parity with respect to contracting opportunities in this State. Signed into law in June 2010, this bill ensures that the State's fiduciary-controlled entities have developed and codified a strategy aimed at meaningful inclusion and participation of MWBEs across New York State. This bill will go a long way to ensure that best-practices are institutionalized and that contracting opportunities are readily and steadily available for qualified MWBEs."

Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes said: "New York must be a State that continues to represent diversity in the marketplace. I am pleased that this historic legislation will increase the participation of investment managers and MWBE financial institutions and level the playing field. New York can not lag behind in its commitment to business especially when these MWBEs are ready, willing and qualified to take part in procurement and investment opportunities."

In June 2008, the Governor issued Executive Order No. 10, which established the Task Force on Minority and Women Business Enterprises. The Task Force was charged with reviewing how authorities issued State-supported debt and selected underwriters and other professional services. Following the Executive Order and the work of the Task Force, MWBE participation quadrupled and minority and women-owned firms have yielded an increase of $162 million in revenue from prior year levels.

During this past legislative session, Governor Paterson submitted Governor's Program Bill No. 298 (S.8313/ A.11526), which would require the creation of the Chief Diversity Officer position in the Executive Chamber. This legislation was passed by the Legislature in June 2010 and signed into law by Governor Paterson on July 15, 2010. That statute significantly reformed and strengthened the State's program for encouraging the growth of Minority and Women's Business Enterprises, a program in which the Chief Diversity Officer will play a central, coordinating role.

Under the Governor's leadership, the State has laid the foundation for future progress and economic growth through making New York a national leader in MWBE economic development.



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