To the Editor:
(Editor's note: This was written in response to the Illinois Senate Labor and Commerce Committee's vote to pass House Bill 924, a proposal that would require contractors bidding on local government projects to participate in federally-approved apprenticeship and training programs and comply with paperwork requirements).
Lawmakers should be looking for ways to encourage more small businesses to bid on government projects, but HB 924 would only discourage them by mandating rules they simply can't afford to follow.
HB 924 is nothing but a power grab by the unions. It's designed to steer work to union contractors and slam the door on small and minority-owned non-union firms that could do the work just as well, if not better, for less money.
That's not fair to the small and minority-owned businesses, their employees or the taxpayers, who'll wind up paying more just so some politicians in Springfield can maybe win a few more union votes.
On behalf of our members, we'll continue to work with other business groups and legislators to fix HB 924 so that it doesn't punish small businesses.
Kim Clarke Maisch
Illinois state director of the National Federation of Independent Business