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Bush: Spending with minorities has increased

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published July 27, 2000

TALLAHASSEE -- State spending with minority vendors dramatically increased during the 1999-2000 budget year, says Gov. Jeb Bush.

Bush said $1.03-billion was spent with minorities during the first year of his One Florida plan.

Bush said nearly $275-million of the $360-million spent with certified minority businesses was done by agencies that report directly to the governor. The total reflects an 85 percent increase in minority business done by agencies that report to Bush.

Another $272-million went to non-certified minority businesses and $408-million went to minority-controlled non-profit organizations.

"This proves what I have said all along," Bush said in a report on his One Florida initiative issued in Orlando earlier this week. "Real progress for minority owned businesses can be achieved without quotas, set asides and price preferences."

Bush's One Florida proposal would end mandatory set asides for minorities in state contracts and gender- or race-based admissions to state colleges and universities. Opponents have criticized the plan.

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