April 12, 2019
The Illinois House of Representatives passed a bill that would require publicly-held companies headquartered in the state to have a minimum of one female director and one African-American director on their boards of directors by the close of 2020.
Companies not able to comply to be fined: If unable to provide board member information to the Illinois Secretary of State demonstrating a seat on the board was held by a qualifying individual at one point during the calendar year, a company will be fined $100,000 for the first violation and $300,000 for subsequent violations.
The Illinois Secretary of State would publish on an annual basis:
Bill sponsor Rep. Camille Lilly (D-Chicago) said: “It’s important that the leadership of large companies in Illinois reflects the diversity of our state. For too long, women and African-Americans have been excluded from the opportunity to serve on corporate boards and this measure will make sure they are represented.”
Looking ahead: With a Democratic governor and state senate, the bill has a healthy chance of joining California’s 2018 board diversity measure in becoming law. The question is: do two bills create a trend?