ARTICLE 1 - Increased Credits for Veterans in Civil Service Employment and Emphasis on Recruitment for State Agency Employment
Section 1 [Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act] allows an employee, former employee, or prospective employee of the state to sue the state in federal court if the state violates his or her rights under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (“USERRA”), United States Code, title 38, sections 4301-4333. The state waives its immunity, under the 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, from suit in federal court. The federal USERRA law provides reemployment rights for and precludes discrimination against those who perform service in a uniformed service, including the Armed Forces and National Guard.
State law has granted similar waivers of the state’s immunity for claims under several federal laws: the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Section 2 [Recruitment] amends Minnesota Statutes, section 43A.09. Current law provides that “special emphasis” be given to recruiting members of protected groups for jobs in state civil service. This section adds “veterans” to the recruiting emphasis.
Section 3 [Nondisabled Veteran’s Credit] increases from five points to ten points the credit given to a nondisabled veteran who elects to receive a credit, in a competitive open examination rating, under civil services laws, charter provisions, ordinances, rules or regulations of a county, city, town, school district, or other municipality or political subdivision.
Section 4 [Disabled Veteran’s Credit] increases from ten to 15 points the credit given to a disabled veteran who elects to receive a credit, in a competitive open examination rating under civil service laws, charter provisions, ordinances, rules or regulations of a county, city, town, school district, or other municipality.
ARTICLE 2 - Preference for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses in State Procurement
Section 1 [Veteran-Owned Small Businesses] amends section 16C.16. Current law provides advantages to veteran-owned small businesses in bidding for state procurement contracts. This bill raises the preference from “up to six percent” to “up to eight percent”.
ARTICLE 3 - Preference for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses in State Transportation Construction Contracts
Section 1 [Small Targeted Group Business Set-Asides] strikes references to veterans in current law that provides a preference for state construction contracts in contracts issued by the Department of Transportation. The preference for veterans is replaced and revised in Section 2.
Section 2 [Veteran-Owned Small Business Set-Asides] creates a preference for veteran-owned small businesses in transportation contracts.
Section 3 [Recourse to Other Businesses] amends section 161.321 to allow the commissioner of transportation to award a transportation construction contract without regard to the veteran-owned small business preference in section 161.321, subdivision 2a, when the commissioner is unable to apply the preference. Under current law, the commission may disregard the preference for small targeted group businesses and veteran-owned small businesses, when unable to apply the preference.
Section 4 [Purpose] states the purpose of granting preferences to veterans for state transportation construction contracts.
This article is effective for contracts let on or after July 1, 2012.
ARTICLE 4 - Authorizing Counties for Bid Preference for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses
Section 1 [ Veteran-Owned Small Business Contracts], subdivision 1 [Definitions] defines terms for this section.
Subdivision 2 [Policy; Purpose; Director] permits a county board to establish a program to provide a bid preference for awarding contracts to certain veteran-owned small businesses for the procurement of goods and services, including printing and construction contracts. This section permits a county board to direct a county director of purchasing or other designee to administer this program.
Subdivision 3 [Small Business Set-Asides] permits a county director of purchasing to award up to a six percent preference in the amount bid for procurement of goods and services, including technical and nontechnical goods and services, printing, and construction, to veteran-owned small businesses in Minnesota. The board is permitted to establish goals for a prime contractor to subcontract a portion of a contrac to veteran-owned small businesses. The board is required to establish a procedure for granting waivers from the subcontracting requirement when qualified veteran-owned businesses are not available. This section permits the board to establish financial incentives for prime contractors who exceed goals for use of veteran-owned small business subcontractors and penalties for failing to meet goals. This section exempts prime contractors who are veteran-owned small businesses from the requirements of meeting goals for using veteran-owned small business subcontractors.
Subdivision 4 [Awards to Small Businesses] requires that at least 75 percent of subcontracts awarded to veteran-owned small businesses must be performed by the business to which the subcontract is awarded or another veteran-owned small business.
Subdivision 5 [Awards; Limitations] subjects contracts awarded under this section to limitations adopted by a county board.
Subdivision 6 [Recourse to Other Businesses] permits a contract to be awarded under normal solicitation and award statutes and rules if the director is unable to award a contract to a veteran-owned small business.
Subdivision 7 [Noncompetitive Bids] encourages a county board to make purchases from veteran-owned small businesses when making purchases that are not subject to competitive bidding procedures.
Subdivision 8 [Report to Board] requires the county treasurer to report to the board on compliance with this section.