M/WBE and VBP Equity Package Moves Forward in Illinois Legislature

Illinois has a number of state certified minority, women, small, and veteran business certification programs.

Source : Contractor News

July 26, 2023

Author : Patty Allen

Illinois is taking significant steps to address environmental concerns and procurement issues in government contracting. The Abandoned Mine Land program addresses major ecological and safety issues at abandoned coal and non-coal mines before August 3, 1977.

Through the IIJA, IDNR (Illinois Department of Natural Resources) is entitled to receive $75.7 million per year for 15 years to address new reclamation projects. 

As per the Illinois Procurement Code, contracts for Abandoned Mined Land Reclamation Projects valued more than $100,000 will be awarded to a qualified bidder following either of the two conditions,

  • They can provide proof of having at least two working employees who previously worked as a coal mine employee and that these employees will actively participate in the awarded project.
  • They must commit to employing at least two former coal mine employees from a union hall to help complete the Abandoned Mined Land Reclamation Project. They must be hired within 60 days of the start of construction and must take an active part in the project.

The Illinois Procurement Code further states that the IDNR has to give a contract to the lowest responsible bidder. But if a qualified bidder who will complete the contract by using former coal mine workers may be given preference over other bidders who can't do that as long as the bid isn't more than 2% higher than the low bid.

As part of these provisions it also includes contractor diversity reporting and measures to streamline requirements for small and diverse businesses.  

It will be required that annual small business report of the Business Enterprise Council is made public. It will require contractors to provide more transparency when working on state contracts to ensure every effort is made toward spending funds with diverse subs and suppliers. Furthermore it raises the earnings cap on the veteran-owned small business certification from $75 million to $150 million, and allows for the creation of particular public-private transportation partnerships.

After being passed by the Senate and the Upper House, the bill is currently with the Governor, pending his signature.

Category : Disadvantaged Business Enterprises Small Business Enterprises Veteran Business Women Business Enterprises State Government

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