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Harris pushes for larger municipalities to hire more minority-owned contractors

Sen. Napoleon HarrisSPRINGFIELD – To push for greater fairness and diversity in contract work, Senator Napoleon Harris (D-Harvey) proposed new legislation setting goals for larger municipalities to include minority-owned businesses.

“We need to ensure that minority-owned businesses are not being passed over as these municipalities continue to hand out millions of dollars in taxpayer money, and a good place to start is setting contracting goals,” Harris said.

The legislation would set goals for cities which receive more than $1 million in state motor fuel taxes to hire more minority-owned and -operated businesses when awarding contracts. The measure is an effort to include more minority, veteran and woman-owned businesses in local government contracting.

Forty-six municipalities and 21 counties received more than $1 million in fiscal year 2017.

Senate Bill 177 requires the Illinois Department of Transportation to assist municipalities in implementing business enterprise programs.

The outlined municipalities would have to set a goal of awarding no less than 20 percent of the total dollar amount of state contracts to businesses owned by minorities, women and persons with disabilities. All contractors would need to satisfy all existent qualifications.

The measure was approved by the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday.

Sen. Napoleon B. Harris III

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15th Legislative District

Committee assignments: Commerce and Economic Development; Executive; Human Services; Insurance (Chairperson); Telecommunications & InfoTechnology (Vice-Chairperson).

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