State Sen. Randi Becker, a Republican from the Eatonville area, has proposed legislation that would make the University of Washington’s capital-project contract process more inclusive of women-owned and minority-owned businesses.
Senate Bill 5631 would amend state law that provides for an alternative process or awarding capital projects involving critical patient care or highly specialized medical research. It would apply when the cost of the work is $5 million or less. Specific requirements of SB 5631, which hasn't been voted on by the Senate, include:
• When the UW publishes its annual roster of prime contractors in newspapers, it also must publish the list with the Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises (OMBWE); The UW must require those included on the roster of prime contractors to solicit businesses certified by the OMWBE.
• The UW’s business diversity program would be required to create aspirational goals for such businesses based on projected subcontracting opportunities;
Becker, whose Second Legislative District includes south Pierce County, said all state contracting processes "need to be more representative of the diverse community around us."