ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Governor Bruce Rauner says he’s done more for African-Americans than any previous Illinois governor. But, some are calling him out saying it’s not true.
Members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus aren’t happy. Many took to social media to berate Rauner on issues like childcare cuts and funding for MAP Grants. They blame him for the budget crisis.
All the issues were brought to light at a morning press conference. But,, the governor’s office is aggressively pushing back calling him an ally of black business.
One group backing Rauner is the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce. Leaders in the non-partisan organization say Rauner’s done unprecedented things to help grow black businesses.
They think the governor deserves more credit. Right now, Illinois has the highest black unemployment rate nationwide. But, numbers have dropped under Rauner’s administration.
They believe community work and the governor’s commitment is to thank, but acknowledge there’s still work to be done to fix deep-rooted disparities.
When asked to respond to claims made by the Legislative Black Cacus, Rauner’s office pointed to a recent executive order to help more black businesses snag state contracts.
Last month, leaders in the caucus publicly ridiculed Rauner for taking credit for initiatives they passed years ago. They also blame him for a 22% drop in black business contracts.
Definitely some bad blood between the caucus and governor. When asked what it would take to mend the relationship, the Black Chamber of Commerce commented, they believe Rauner’s continued support would ultimately shine through as reforms continue taking place in the community.
Rauner’s office provided a list of initiatives he’s supported to help communities of color. Among programs on the list are an historic education funding formula, tollway contracting, funding for a minority enterprise program and a 15% drop in the prison population.