SPRINGFIELD, IL – State Senator Mattie Hunter (D – Chicago) is calling on the House of Representatives today to pass a measure that will assist minority and female-owned disadvantaged small businesses in receiving contracts with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). Hunter’s pressure for passage of the measure comes in the wake of Metra’s announcement to delay awarding a contract to an Elgin-based contractor to build the Englewood Flyover rail bridge. Earlier this month, Metra officials said they would postpone awarding the contract to their June 15 meeting after Congressmen Danny K. Davis, Jesse Jackson, Jr., and Bobby Rush disputed the original winning contract.
“The Englewood community has one of the highest unemployment and crime rates not just in Illinois, but in the country. It has the unfortunate history of being passed over when it comes to government assistance and bidding contracts,” Hunter said. “Metra’s original decision to seek contractors outside of the community in which this project is planned is exactly the reason why this measure needs to become law. With a little under two weeks left of session this year, the House needs to take action on this legislation immediately.”
Senate Bill 2491 establishes the Working Capital Loan Repayment Fund which will aid struggling Illinois’ minority and female owned construction businesses in winning procurement contracts with IDOT. The Fund will be able to provide the companies with loans up to $3 million a year over the next 10 years starting to help them with their current liabilities and expenses associated with these projects.
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