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2    WHEREAS, The Illinois Department of Transportation and the
3Illinois Tollway are driving forces for increasing economic
4opportunities in the State of Illinois, as both organizations
5seek to provide assistance to small and diverse businesses and
6individuals interested in doing business in ways that ensure
7equity, access, and transparency; and
8    WHEREAS, Both the Illinois Department of Transportation
9and the Illinois Tollway provide small and diverse businesses
10and individuals with opportunities to grow and succeed through
11training programs, strategic partnerships, and investments in
12infrastructure; and
13    WHEREAS, These programs support long-term success through
14training and business development opportunities, as well as a
15multitude of economic opportunities created by investments in
16infrastructure and the resources to ensure continued growth in
17a high-demand industry; and
18    WHEREAS, Through its Move Illinois Program, the Illinois
19Tollway committed more than $2.9 billion to small, diverse,
20and veteran-owned firms in construction and professional
21services; and



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1    WHEREAS, The Illinois Department of Transportation has
2certified over 2,945 diverse businesses in Illinois; in 2023,
3IDOT achieved nearly 19% diverse business utilization on
4Federal Highway Administration-funded projects; and
5    WHEREAS, Now, programs like these for minority-owned and
6women-owned businesses (M/W/DBE) are at risk across the
7nation; and
8    WHEREAS, In June 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the
9case Fair Admissions v. Harvard that the university's use of
10race considerations in their undergraduate admissions
11processes was impermissible, sparking litigation in an attempt
12to extend that reasoning to other settings, such as
13transportation and infrastructure contracting; and
14    WHEREAS, A number of cases challenging M/W/DBE programs
15are now before federal courts across the United States; and
16    WHEREAS, Mid-America Milling Company v. USDOT was filed in
17October 2023; plaintiffs, who are based in southern Indiana,
18have requested that the U.S. District Court, Eastern District
19of Kentucky enter a nationwide USDOT DBE injunction; the
20plaintiffs assert that the DBE program is unconstitutional
21because it ultimately uses race and gender in government
22contracting decisions; the plaintiffs in this case rely



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1heavily upon the recently-decided U.S. Supreme Court decision
2in Fair Admissions v. Harvard; and
3    WHEREAS, In Landscape Consultants of Texas and
4Metropolitan Landscape Management v. City of Houston and
5Midtown Management District, plaintiffs have filed a case in
6the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas in
7September 2023 that challenges local M/W/DBE programs under
8the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution;
9discovery in that case ends in June 2025, and one or both
10parties are expected to file motions for summary judgment
11shortly thereafter; the threat of similar legislation impacts
12M/W/DBE programs employed by local governments such as the
13City of Chicago; therefore, be it
15ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we encourage the
16utilization of small, diverse, and veteran-owned firms, as
17M/WBE and DBE programs have demonstrated success in promoting
18economic opportunity, equity and access; and be it further
19    RESOLVED, That we support federal DBE standards and
20programs to ensure the success of the Illinois Department of
21Transportation's DBE Program; and be it further
22    RESOLVED, That we urge Congress to take action to protect



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1the USDOT DBE program and M/WBE and DBE programs overall.