After years of criticism by civil rights groups and reports by GBH News that the state is not fulfilling its commitments to patronize minority-owned businesses, lawmakers are considering empowering the office that oversees state supplier diversity.
Gov. Charlie Baker wants to set up an independent supplier diversity agency with more power to oversee how state tax dollars are being spent on businesses owned by people of color, women, veterans, disabled people and the LGBTQ community.
NAACP Boston branch president Tanisha Sullivan says community advocates have been lobbying Baker to make the change for years.
"Having the stand alone agency gives it... greater access to resources, but also allows us to more readily monitor what's happening there," Sullivan told GBH News.
The Legislature's State Administration Committee has received public comment on the bill. They have until the end of the year to make changes, or Baker's plan will become law.