Rep. Jeff Holy, R-Cheney, introduced legislation to clarify current requirements for public purchases of goods and services for nonprofit agencies for the blind.
“This bill brings visibility to current law, creates and sustains jobs for people who are blind, and provides services of exceptional value to Washington state,” said Holy, “This bill increases job opportunities for those with disabilities, especially those who are blind and face the largest challenge of finding jobs.”
House Bill 2398 will correct existing law by creating equal access for goods and services manufactured by the blind.
“Current state statute says that all things being held equal, like price, a like market, and like availability that the state should give consideration, not a set aside, first to blind service manufactured goods,” said Holy. “The state’s procurement process seems to have missed this component. This bill changes the current procurement process so the state doesn’t miss blind services.”
The Lighthouse for the Blind provides employment, support and training opportunities for people who are blind, deaf blind and blind with other disabilities. They have provided employment and support to blind people in Washington state since 1918.
Rep. Holy is hopeful that House Bill 2398 will be scheduled for consideration and vote on the House floor this session. The 60-day legislative session is scheduled to end March 10.