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L.A. Metro to require subcontracts for veteran-owned firms

California has passed a new law aimed at creating opportunities for small businesses and firms owned by disabled veterans to compete for Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) construction contracts.

Under the law, Metro now is authorized to require bidders to include subcontracting opportunities for small businesses and those owned by disabled veterans as a condition of award of non-federally funded construction projects, agency officials said in a press release.

Specifically, Metro will award contracts only to the lowest responsible bidder meeting the agency's small business enterprise and disabled veteran business enterprise participation goals. Bidders that fail to meet the goals will be ineligible to receive a contract.

Before the law passed, such goals were voluntary on construction-related contracts, Metro officials said.

In addition, the law authorizes Metro to set aside contracts for competition only among Metro-certified small business firms.

Authored by California Assembly member Sebastian Ridley Thomas, the law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2017.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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