Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to do more than 'pay lip service' to supporting minority- and women-owned businesses in the state, so his office is targeting new IT consulting contracts for the state to these groups and to communities that haven’t seen many state contracts.

Rauner said recently that Illinois has talked for years about directing state contracts to businesses owned by women or minorities.

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"We in Illinois have paid a lot of lip service to equal opportunity," Rauner said. "We haven't really done much about it."

Rauner said that when his administration finally looked at the actual number of contracts going to minority- and women-owned firms, he was shocked.

"We're nowhere near our goals, and we never talk about it," Rauner said. "We have capable, available, high-quality entrepreneurial businesses owned by disadvantaged individuals, and we don't contract with them."

Rauner’s office is getting ready to open up applications for IT contracts with the state, and he said he wants to target the jobs not only toward minority- and women-owned firms, but also wants to ensure that the jobs are in neighborhoods that need them the most.

(Copyright WBGZ /