pexels olia danilevich 5466785SPRINGFIELD – During this past January session, State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) voted in favor of legislation that would support the growth of minority business procurement and other economic opportunities for people of color.

“This agenda addresses much of the discrimination that runs rampant in the business and financial sectors, and I believe a lot of people will benefit from it,” Van Pelt said. “Women, Black and Brown people, and people with disabilities all deserve the same opportunities, period. This legislation will ensure the playing field is equal.”

This legislation addresses issues minorities face in housing, state contracting procurement, business barriers and predatory lending. If enacted, the state would be prohibited from contracting with a private business with more than 100 employees that does not have an equal pay certificate.

Further, the legislation seeks to increase business enterprise for minorities, women, and persons with disabilities, creating a commission to oversee procurement, with a focus on minority inclusion and diversity.

A Predatory Loan Prevention Act will protect consumers from predatory loans, based on the federal Military Lending act.

“Discrimination exists everywhere, from the beauty supply industry to real estate industry,” Van Pelt said. “I am glad that we had the opportunity to take a deep dive into the barriers minorities face, so businesses can thrive to their true potential and people can be free of discrimination when trying to choose where to live.”

A significant measure of the legislative package would prohibit an employer from using conviction records as the basis for hiring discrimination against an applicant unless the employment in question and the criminal offense have “substantial relationship,” or granting employment poses a safety risk.

Other than employment provisions, housing authorities would be required to track data from public housing applicants regarding the total number of applicants, the number of applicants on which a criminal background check was run, and the number of applicants denied, among other things, and submit a report to the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, which must then compile the reports and report them to the General Assembly and public.

The Economic Pillar Agenda includes Senate Bills 1980, 1480, 1608, and 1792, which have all passed both chambers and await the governor’s signature.


Category: Press Releases

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