State Rep. Flowers to Expand Opportunities for Minority Businesses in State Contract Selection

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – With a focus on inclusion of historically underserved and ousted business owners, Illinois State Rep. Mary E. Flowers, D-Chicago, is co-sponsoring a measure that would promote greater cooperation between the State of Illinois and minority contractors.

“The tax base in the State of Illinois is full of all kinds of diverse people from different backgrounds, so it only makes sense that the businesses we contract with reflect that diversity,” said Flowers. “This bill will close the communication gap between small minority-owned businesses and the state when it comes to the qualifications and availability of opportunities to do quality business and create jobs in underserved communities.”

Flowers is the co-sponsor of Senate Bill 3106, a measure that establishes the Minority Contractor Opportunity Initiative. This initiative would require the Business Enterprise Council and each Chief Procurement Officer to provide information related to minority-owned, women-owned, person-with-disabilities owned and small businesses. This information would include outreach to these businesses, education on state contracting and procurement and notification to these businesses about State contracting opportunities. Additionally, the Comptroller will maintain an updated online database of State contracts with these businesses.

“It is time we bring transparency to the State contract bidding and procurement process,” said Flowers. “When we level the playing field for businesses who have constantly been at a disadvantage, we will see these benefits shape change, not only on the job-site, but back home in the community where we are bringing good-paying jobs and opportunity.”

Senate Bill 3106 recently passed out of the Senate unanimously and is expected to be heard for consideration in the House State Government Administration Committee in the near future.

Flowers represents the 31st district, which includes portions of the Auburn-Gresham community in Chicago, Oak Lawn, Chicago Ridge, Countryside and others. For more information, please contact Rep. Flowers’ constituent service office at 773-471-5200 or email her at maryeflowers@ilga.gov.