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EAST ST. LOUIS – In an effort to increase state contracting opportunities for Black vendors, State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) spoke Friday about the importance of creating new standards that ensure agencies are practicing fair contracting.

“Black Americans are struggling to secure opportunities in supplier diversity, no matter the industry,” Belt said. “Illinois’ goal is to decrease disparities for all businesses of color by increasing sustainability and providing them a fair share of local, state, and federal contracting.”

On Friday, the Senate Executive, Commerce and Economic Development and State Government committees, and the Senate Special Committee on Supplier Diversity held a joint hearing to cover the importance of increasing the number of opportunities for Black vendors to do business with the state.

Friday’s hearing was the fourth hearing prompted by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus on economic access, equity and opportunity, the third pillar in their four-part agenda to end systemic racism in Illinois. 

The next hearing is scheduled for Oct. 19 at 9:30 a.m. and will cover access to health care. 

To view virtual committee proceedings, visit and click "Watch Live Virtual Committee Video." The link will become available when proceedings begin.