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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: February 12, 2018 11:08 AM
From: Representative Morgan Cephas
To: All House members
Subject: Diversity Scoring for Commonwealth Agency Grant Programs
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation proposing to amend Title 12 (Commerce and Trade) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to ensure that ‘diverse business participation’ is one of the metrics used in the evaluation and awarding of Commonwealth agency grants.

Current Pennsylvania law does not require Commonwealth agencies that administer agency grants to include ‘diverse business participation’ as one of the criterion that is used to score and award grants. As a result, the impact of state grants are not fully realized, particularly when it comes to spurring economic development within the veteran-owned, women-owned and minority-owned business community. In an effort to effectively address the aforementioned deficiency, my legislation seeks to do the following:
  • Authorizes Commonwealth agencies to utilize ‘diverse business participation’ as a criterion by which to evaluate and score grant applications;
  • Directs that the individual score for ‘diverse business participation’ not be less than the minimum or maximum number of points that an applicant may receive for any other criterion used for scoring purposes by the grantor; and
  • Requires each Commonwealth agency that administers a grant program to provide an annual report to the governor and the majority and minority leaders of the House and Senate chambers respectively, which includes a summary of ‘diverse business participation’ relating to subcontracting opportunities.
To be clear, this legislation does not constitute a mandate, but instead provides our Commonwealth agencies with the flexibility to use the criterion of ‘diverse business participation,’ whenever practicable, in their evaluation and scoring of grant applications. History has repeatedly shown us that the diversification of ideas and skills invariably fosters innovation and leads to more efficacious outcomes.

If you are interested in providing our Commonwealth agencies with an additional tool to maximize the impact of their grant programs, I ask that you please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.