Bill to Reform State-run Monopoly and Help Small Business Passes

Peace champions legislation to create level field of competition for private sector vendors

NFIB, the leading small business organization, wholeheartedly supported the measure

Central Virginia- House Bill 263, patroned by Delegate Christopher K. Peace (R-Hanover) passed both chambers with bi-partisan support, and is now on the way to the Governor. Implementation of this legislation will expand the list of circumstances by which an exemption from a mandatory purchase requirement may be granted to include instances in which an identical article can be obtained at a verified lower cost from the private sector.

“Promoting transparency and cost efficiencies in government is one of our top priorities – particularly when the government is competing against the private sector,” said Nicole Riley, State Director for the National Federation of Independent Business. “We commend Delegate Peace for his leadership on this matter and look forward to working with him throughout the next year to bring some additional reform to this government program.”

Under current law, state agencies are required to purchase goods and services produced by inmates in state correctional facilities.  The director of the Division of Purchases and Supply (DSP) of the Department of General Services may grant an exemption from the requirement if the item produced by Virginia Correctional Enterprises (VCE) of the Department of Corrections does not meet the requirements of the agency or if VCE cannot comply with the order of the agency due to a lack of materials or for any other reason.

Speaking to the passage Peace asserted, “This is a common sense free market enterprise measure.  Small businesses and vendors from the private sector across the Commonwealth have been “shut out” of this process all together.  We should not have the State be in direct competition with small businesses in such an economic climate as we see today.”

John Massad, Jr, a principle of one of the oldest office furniture dealers in Virginia stated, “After a long fight it finally seemed to make sense, but only after Delegate Peace made folks in State government realize what was truly going on.  Peace is a true supporter of the small business owner.  It took many meetings and attempts to get the correct facts out. Thanks to Delegate Peace for all of his efforts.”

Delegate Christopher K. Peace was elected to his fourth term representing the 97th District of the Virginia House of Delegates.  The District includes parts of Hanover, King William, and all of New Kent County.