It could soon be easier for minority and women-owned businesses to get contract work from a Cook County government department. Several levels of government around Chicago and Illinois have programs meant to help make the process more fair for minority and women-owned businesses to get government contracts.
The City of Chicago, the CTA, Cook County...the list goes on. But the Forest Preserve District of Cook County has not had that kind of program until now.
"As far as I know, we're one of the only governments that did not have authority to do that, so it was surprising," said Arnold Randall, the head of the forest preserves.
Randall said he doesn't know why such a program had never been established.
"In my experience so far in county government and forest preserve government is that we are a little bit under the radar," he said. "People weren't really paying attention to us and I think this is symbolic of those things."
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill allowing the forest preserves to establish the program Wednesday.