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Gov. Bruce Rauner to join Dr. Willie Wilson in signing executive order to help black businesses

Gov. Bruce Rauner is joining humanitarian and mayoral candidate Dr. Willie Wilson at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at the Bruce Montgomery Operation HOPE, 815 W. 63rd St., 4th Floor, Chicago, IL, to sign an executive order that will give African Americans a fair share of all state contracts.

For three-years, Dr. Wilson has been working on getting a state bill passed to get equity for blacks seeking state contracts. He thanked Rep. Will Davis (D-30th) and Senator Mattie Hunter (D-3rd) for helping to get a bill passed that creates a task force to ensure African Americans get their fair share of state contracts.

Thursday, Dr. Wilson said the governor would sign an executive order guaranteeing that Blacks will get a fair share of state contracts including ads for the black press. “This is a big deal,” Dr. Wilson said.

The executive order will create a Commission charged with issuing regularly proposed solutions to systemic causes in minority including African-American participation in state procurements. It will review on a quarterly basis state agency performance as it relates to African American businesses and to increase transparency surrounding state agency compliance, report results to the African American-owned business community.

The Commission will also receive from each state agency its plan and goals on how to eradicate historic disparities and barriers that prevent fairness, equality, and parity for African American-owned businesses, and review and provide recommendations to state agencies on these plans.

The Commission will recommend performance incentives to state agencies that meet or exceed their planned goals and publish, at least annually, a list of those agencies that fail to meet their planned goals.

The Commission is charged with holding meetings and accepting public comment from representatives of African American-owned businesses on their interaction with state agencies and experiences in seeking to overcome historic barriers to participation in state procurement and issue recommendations to stage agencies in reliance on public comments and other information.

The Commission will conduct inquires to state agencies to identify and evaluate existing administrative, operational, and personnel policies and procedures as they relate to African American-owned business participation in state procurements.

The Commission will issue annual reports to the governor and the General Assembly, which shall include data on the African American-owned business disparity ratio in Illinois and proposed solutions to alleviate disparities in procurement awards to African American-owned businesses.

The executive order states that within 180 days, in coordination with the Commission, the BEP Council and CMS all state agencies shall submit to the Commission a proposed plan on how each intends to work to eradicate historic disparities and barriers to state contracting and receipt of state funds by African American-owned businesses. The Commission shall not disclose any confidential financial or trade secret protected information furnished to the state under a claim of confidentiality.

The Commission will include four members appointed by the governor, three of whom must be from the Department of Central Management Services, the Capitol Development Board, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Children and Family Services, or the Department of Health and Family Services, and one of whom must be a representative of the BEP Council.

There will be four members of the public, representing African American-owned businesses appointed by the governor, and one member of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. There will be one member of the House of Representatives, appointed by the Minority leader of the House of Representatives, one from the senate appointed by the president of the Senate and another member of the senate appointed by the minority leader of the senate.

The governor will appoint the chairperson or co-chairpersons. The Commission is charged with meeting at least quarterly and annually publishing a report of its findings to the governor, the General Assembly, appropriate committees and to the public through the support of CMS. This section is effective on January 3, 2019.

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