Just prior to its adjournment in 1982, and subsequent to hotly contested debates, the 97th Congress enacted the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 (STAA). The Act contained a number of controversial provisions, not the least of which was one requiring that "not less than 10 per centum of the amounts authorized to be appropriated" by the act were to be expended on small business "owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals ... ." Such small businesses have become known, as disadvantaged business enterprises, or DBE's.
Walter A. McFarlane,
Benign Racial Classifications: A Guide for Transportation Attorneys,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
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