State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, has won House approval to establish a select committee to review whether enough is being done to ensure participation in state contracts and purchasing from minority-owned, women-owned and disadvantaged-owned businesses.
“Many of these Pennsylvania businesses have expressed concerns that state government is not fully using their services in contracting and procurement activities,” Rep. Wheatley said. “This review is even more important now that hundreds of millions more dollars will be coming through state government as a result of the federal stimulus package.”
The House adopted Rep. Wheatley's resolution (H.R. 78) to create the select committee, which will review state contracting from 2000 through 2008. His resolution requires the committee to report its findings and any recommendations within six months. The committee will be made up of four members of the House Democratic majority and three House Republicans.
The work of the select committee will include an investigation of potential barriers that minority-, women- and disadvantaged-owned businesses face when competing for state contracts and purchases, including institutional barriers and money, management and market barriers. The panel also will identify potential specialized approaches for eliminating those barriers.
Information on doing business with state government is available online at www.dgs.state.pa.us.
Rep. Wheatley is vice chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Education, and chairman of the House Health and Human Services Subcommittee on Mental Health. He also serves on the House Children and Youth, Education and Transportation committees.