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Sandoval calls on Rauner to fix abysmal diversity numbers

Sandoval Diversity­CHICAGO – State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) called on Gov. Bruce Rauner this week to explain why the state has fallen woefully short of minority inclusion goals in state contracts.

Sandoval, the Chairman of the Illinois Senate’s Special Committee on Supplier Diversity, addressed a letter to Rauner to find out why the governor’s hand-picked university trustees are not doing more to reach the required Business Enterprise Program (BEP) goal of spending 20 percent of their contractual dollars with businesses owned by minorities, women and people with disabilities.

“Rauner is the governor who appointed the majority of the trustees of each of these universities and who administers CMS,” Sandoval said. “I want to know why he’s allowing universities to neglect these requirements and what his administration intends to do to compel compliance.”

Sandoval has already convened one hearing of the Committee on Supplier Diversity with the goal of finding statutory improvements to encourage or mandate the inclusion of businesses owned by minorities, women and disabled persons in state contracts. At that meeting, many of the universities expressed frustrations with CMS’ inability to maintain an accurate database of BEP-certified vendors.

Sandoval called on the governor to convene a summit with all universities in close consultation with CMS to focus on the topic.

“The state’s hiring practices are a reflection of this governor’s opinion of minority communities,” Sandoval said. “If he wants to be taken seriously as a diversity governor, he has to work harder to include diverse contractors in state hiring.”

Sandoval requested a meeting with the governor to discuss the matter by the end of September. He also plans to schedule future supplier diversity committee hearings in September and October for the purpose of questioning other industries such as hospitals, MCOs, casinos and other emerging industries.

“It’s clear that some in these industries are less than sincere about their corporate supplier diversity programs,” Sandoval said. “Government must lead by example followed by the corporate sector that is beneficiary of public funding.”

Lightford law makes pilot parenting course a part of high school curriculum

lightford 082418SPRINGFIELD – A proposal from Illinois Senate Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) that would implement a pilot program to make parenting courses part of the health education curriculum for high school students was signed into law on Thursday.

“We currently do not offer courses that teach young people about raising children and having healthy relationships as adults,” Lightford said. “These lessons are important in making sure our young people are making responsible decisions.”

House Bill 4442 requires the State Board of Education to administer a three-year pilot program providing support to school districts that utilize a unit of instruction on parenting education.

The program would begin with the 2019-2020 school year, and is encouraged to include:

  • Family structure, function and management
  • Prevention of child abuse
  • Physical, mental, emotional, social, economic and psychological aspects of interpersonal and family relationships
  • Parenting education competency development

The law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2019.

Bertino-Tarrant works to increase college affordability, accessibility

students 082418PLAINFIELD – To make college more affordable, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) spearheaded a new measure to increase availability of dual-credit classes in Illinois.

Bertino-Tarrant’s initiative, Senate Bill 2838, requires a public university or community colleges to work with local high schools to grant dual credit to a student who completes an accredited course. It was signed into law on Thursday.

Castro’s new law provides youth with the tools to succeed

castro 053018ELGIN – Legislation sponsored by State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) that will provide children in foster care and under supervision of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) the opportunity to go to college was signed into law on Thursday.

“Kids in foster care are less likely to attend college,” said Castro. “This affects their futures, including their income levels and employment stability. I don’t want there to be barriers for these kids who are in situations that they had no control over.”

Under Castro’s measure, certain youth from DCFS, who file for FAFSA and do not receive a DCFS fee waiver, will have the opportunity to receive a scholarship. The scholarship will cover the remaining tuition and fees for any public institution of higher learning in Illinois.

“This measure will give kids from DCFS the tools to be successful,” said Castro. “They will then go out and contribute to our economy and make the job market stronger in our state. Their talents and dreams shouldn’t be limited.”

House Bill 5122 goes into effect Jan. 1, 2019.  

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