Group: Minorities Not Getting High-Speed Rail Jobs

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Springfield – Construction of a high-speed rail line from Chicago to St. Louis continues.  But advocates in Springfield say protecting minority rights in conjunction with the project are off track.

“Everyone has a right to be interviewed for a job,” State Representative Sue Scherer, (D) Decatur, told WAND State Capitol reporter Doug Wolfe.  “Not just the certain people that always seem to get backed.”

The Faith Coalition for the Common Good says the city of Springfield, Sangamon County and the state of Illinois have ignored an agreement that was reached to make the 10th Street rail line in Springfield the main high-speed line through the city.  The group says African Americans are being blocked out when it comes to jobs, training and protecting neighborhoods during development of the line.

State Representative Scherer and State Senator Andy Manar, (D) Bunker Hill, are introducing legislation to set up a commission.  The commission's job is to oversee the rail project and to make sure minorities get a fair shake.

“I think it's important to put the weight of state law behind the agreement,” stated Manar.

Twin bills establishing the “Springfield High-Speed Oversight Commission” were introduced into both the House and Senate on Thursday afternoon.

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