February 25, 2019

Denver, CO – The Senate Business, Labor, and Technology Committee today voted unanimously to advance SB19-135, a bill sponsored by Senators Angela Williams and Robert Rodriguez that would require Colorado to conduct a disparity study of how state procurement contracts are awarded to different demographics. The bill now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration.
 
“Colorado has a diversity of people and businesses, but we do not know if that diversity is reflected in how the state awards contracts to businesses because we have never conducted a statewide study before,” said Senator Williams. “By finding where disparities exist and who they affect, this study can free the procurement process from bias and allow businesses to compete based entirely on their qualifications and what they have to offer to the community.”
 
SB19-135 would require the state to conduct a disparity study, directing the Colorado Department of Personnel to contract with an independent entity to study the state’s procurement process and make recommendations to address any discrepancies identified by the study.
 
“A disparity study could give us the opportunity to change the lives of small business owners across Colorado,” said Senator Rodriguez. “If we’re going to make our process of awarding state procurement contracts more equitable and inclusive, this is an important step we need to take. I’m excited to see that the Business, Labor, and Technology Committee agrees.”
 
“A disparity study wouldn’t just strengthen the fairness and justice of the procurement process, it would strengthen Colorado businesses and our state’s economic future,” added Senator Williams.

For more information on the bill, please visit: http://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb19-135
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