Illinois’ Black Chamber of Commerce, and other small-business leaders, are speaking out against a business bill. Under the proposal, “responsible bidders” for government work must engage in an apprenticeship program. From the National Federation of Independent Business, state director Kim Maisch says the bill is pro-union, which means it’s anti-small business.
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“All the contracts that are bid out by local governments (and) by school districts,” says Maisch, “now fall under the Prevailing Wage Act. And so the vast majority of businesses who do work with their local governments and school districts are small businesses.” One black lawmaker, State Rep. Ken Dunkin (D-Chicago), says his first job was a paper route at age 11; the only apprenticeship available was to shadow the guy who was leaving the route. H.B. 924 has passed the House and awaits a Senate committee hearing.