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Illinois General Assembly considers expanding MBE definition

IL News - Published Jun 01, 2022

A bill recently filed in the Illinois General Assembly by State Representative Cyril Nichols would include businesses with Arab owners in the state's program for minority-owned businesses (MBEs).

Currently, the State's Minority Business Enterprise policies include an aspirational goal for thirty percent of contract dollars to be awarded to MBEs per year. The designation of MBE currently includes business owners who are Asian-Indian, Asian-Pacific, Black, Hispanic or Native American. The new inclusion of Arab business owners would, in the language of the bill, be applicable to "a person having origins in any of the original peoples of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Bahrain, Jordan, Comoros, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Djibouti, Somalia, Palestine, Oman, Syria, Yemen, Qatar, Sudan, Tunisia, Egypt, or Algeria".

The state legislature's recently passed budget of $46.5 billion is expected to create a significant amount of business for MBEs, under the auspices of the existing program.

Read the bill at https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocTypeID=HB&DocNum=5752&GAID=16&SessionID=110&LegID=140979.