Illinois State Gov. Pass Bill Requiring Companies To Have Women, Blacks On Corporate Boards

Ferlon Webster Jr. | April 3, 2019
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If you want people to excel in life, you can’t force other people to put them in positions which they may not be qualified for.

But that very situation will be forced on publicly held companies in Illinois after a controversial bill was passed in the state’s House of Representatives on Friday.

State Rep. Chris Welch’s bill would require these companies to have at least one woman and one African American on their company’s corporate board starting in 2021. 

No mention of qualifications, no mention of what to do if the particular individuals don’t match up well to other candidates for the position. Nope - you just better have them on your board...or else.

“No later than the close of the 2020 calendar year, a publicly held domestic or foreign corporation whose principal executive offices, according to the corporation's SEC 10-K form, are located in Illinois shall have a minimum of one female director and one African American director on its board of directors,” the bill states.

What happens if the company doesn’t comply with the new law? According to Illinois News Network, the company could be fined up to $300,000 for non-compliance. 

The problem with laws like this is the company may have to force people into positions that they just don’t fit. That’s clearly not to say that a woman or a black person can’t do the job, but it is to say that if they can’t then you should hire whoever the heck else can instead of forcing a “square peg into a round hole.” 

That’s just common sense.

State Rep. Tony McCombie (R-Savanna), came against Welch’s bill citing it as one of the most “anti-business” bills that has been passed this year. 

“We are destroying the ability for our state to grow,” she said.

Welch stood on his ground claiming that African Americans needed a law like this basically claiming anyone who didn’t agree was, you know -  a racist.

“I’m not going to be ashamed to stand here and fight for the people that sent me here,” he said. “Ashamed to fight for African-Americans to have a right in a room? Are you kidding me?”

I’m a black dude, and I don’t want or need anyone to patronize me so I can get a certain job or reach a certain status. I’d rather work hard, learn what I need to learn and attempt to get the job based on my own qualifications. It’s always good to know people and to network, of course, but that’s completely different than the government forcing people to accept me even if I’m an unqualified candidate. That’s just lame. 

Take a look at the debate between the Illinois state lawmakers below. Things got pretty heated.