FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
7/16/2010
Marlena Jentz 312-814-3158
Annie Thompson 217-782-7355

 Governor Quinn Signs Bill to Create Jobs, Support Minority, Female and Disabled Business Owners

New Law Requires More Businesses to Comply with State's Equal Employment and Business Enterprise Program Practices

CHICAGO - July 16, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a bill into law that will create jobs and provide opportunities for businesses owned by minorities, women and persons with disabilities. The new law requires that anyone who receives more than $250,000 in state grants or loans for capital construction must comply with Illinois' equal employment and business enterprise program practices.

"This legislation signed here today will create jobs for minorities, women and people with disabilities across Illinois" said Governor Quinn. "We must ensure that these individuals are provided equal access to a good job and continue to put more Illinois residents back to work each and every day."

Under the law, grant or loan recipients must sign a written certification stating their intent to follow Business Enterprise Program (BEP) practices, which encourage state agencies to work with businesses owned by minorities, women and people with disabilities.

The new law requires each recipient to submit the written certification and a BEP plan prior to the grant or loan agreement's execution. The BEP plan will detail which diverse businesses the grant or loan recipient plans to utilize with the state funds. The diverse businesses must be at least 51 percent owned and controlled by minorities, women or persons with disabilities. The plan must be approved before any grant or loan funds are made available to the recipient.

The new law also requires each chief procurement officer to maintain an online database of all waivers that is searchable by contractor and contracting state agency. Public notice of the award of a state contract must include the bidder's name, the bid amount, the bid's percentage of disadvantaged business utilization plan and the bid's percentage of business enterprise program utilization plan.

Senate Bill 3249 was sponsored by Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago) and Rep. William Burns (D-Chicago) and takes effect immediately.