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Harris urges railroad companies to work with minority-owned businesses

harris 040519SPRINGFIELD – To encourage diversity in the transportation industry, State Senator Napoleon Harris III (D-Harvey) is sponsoring legislation that urges the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) to submit procurement goals for female-owned, minority-owned, veteran-owned and small business enterprises.

“No industry is excluded from diversification,” Harris said. “These contracts can give a big boost to small and minority-owned businesses. When we ask railroad companies to set goals for diversity and inclusion, we are pushing them to help make that progress happen.”

Currently, the Railroad Supplier Diversity Act allows each Class I railroad company to submit an annual report containing procurement goals and actual spending for female-owned, minority-owned, veteran-owned and small business enterprises to the Illinois Commerce commission.

Senate Bill 2304 would add the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) to the requirements for Class I railroads under the Railroad Supplier Diversity Act.

There are currently seven Class I railroads: BNSF Railway, CN, Canadian Pacific, CSX Transportation, Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southern, and Union Pacific. Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway are also considered Class I due to their significant trackage in the United States.

The report requirements include information on outreach and expansion plans, points-of-contact for interested vendors, and suggestions for how the Commission could ease the vendor identification process. The reports would be required to include as much state-specific data as possible, but some national data could be used to supplement findings.

Senate Bill 2304 passed the Senate Transportation Committee Tuesday and now heads to the Senate floor for further debate.

Harris announces state grant that provides tax relief for South Suburbs

Senator HarrisHARVEY – State Senator Napoleon Harris, III (D-Harvey) recently announced a state grant that provides tax relief for several communities in his district.

“I am happy to announce several school districts in the South Suburbs will receive property tax relief,” Harris said. “I understand there are more communities that can benefit from this grant and that’s why I hope more schools take advantage of the funding opportunity.”

The Property Tax Relief Grant helps school districts with high tax rates relative to other school districts by giving them an opportunity to lower the property tax burden on local taxpayers with the state by replacing a portion of foregone tax revenue with state funds.

Harris creates access to statewide construction projects for minority businesses

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SPRINGFIELD – Minority owned business will be required to be included in statewide construction projects under a proposal sponsored by Senator Napoleon Harris, III. (D-Harvey) was signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker Tuesday.

“In order to build a healthy and comprehensive economy, we must supply minority businesses with full and fair access to local and state contraction opportunities.” Harris said. “I applaud Gov. Pritzker for seeing the significance of this measure, and hope to see local governments taking advantage of the state’s model business enterprise program to decrease the inequality gap for minority, veterans and female-owned businesses.”

Harris donates $2,500 to the Rocky Clark Scholarship Fund

rockyclark 120419SPRINGFEILD – On Tuesday’s National Day of Giving, State Senator Napoleon Harris III (D-Chicago) attended the Rocky Clark Memorial Scholarship Fundraiser at South Suburban College and donated $2,500 to the Rocky Clark Memorial Scholarship Fund.

"Schools across the state must continue to prioritize the education and well-being of students with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” Harris said. “South Suburban College is doing an amazing job to provide resources to promote equity for students with disabilities, and I am pleased to support this cause.”

Sen. Napoleon B. Harris III

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Majority Caucus Whip
15th Legislative District

Committee assignments: Commerce and Economic Development; Executive; Human Services; Insurance (Chairperson); Telecommunications & InfoTechnology (Vice-Chairperson); Supplier Diversity, Special Com. On; Pension Investments Special Com. On..

Biography: Entrepreneur and legislator; from Dixmoor; B.A. in Communications, Northwestern University; Postgraduate certificate, Northwestern Kellogg School of Business Management; former NFL linebacker; married (wife, Nicole); three children (sons, Napoleon Harris IV, Noah & daughter, Nahla).

Associated Representatives:
William Davis
Thaddeus Jones