Western Maryland contractors question minority requirement

HAGERSTOWN — Some western Maryland contractors are demanding an end to the state’s Minority Business Enterprise law.

Local members of the Associated Builders and Contractors aired their concerns at a meeting Monday in Hagerstown with Republican state lawmakers from Washington and Frederick counties.

The law requires contractors to seek minority-owned subcontractors when bidding on state contracts. The contractors say many minority-owned firms in the Baltimore-Washington area aren’t interested in western Maryland projects. And they say some refuse to even sign paperwork indicating they’ve been offered the opportunity.

State Delegate Neil Parrott of Washington County says the 33-year-old law has achieved its goal of making it possible for minorities to head companies.

Parrott says he will vote against extending the program in next year’s General Assembly.

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