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Governor signs bill proposed by UIS professor

September 14, 2005

SPRINGFIELD – Anthony Sisneros, associate professor of Public Administration at the University of Illinois at Springfield, was instrumental in the effort to pass a new law designed to help state agencies increase hiring among the Hispanic community at supervisory, technical, professional, and managerial levels, as well as to fill more positions with people who can speak Spanish fluently.

Senate Bill 2043 -- amending the Illinois State Employment Records Act by requiring each state agency to develop an annual Hispanic and bilingual employment plan -- was signed into law by Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich on August 15. The new law (P.A. 094-0597) becomes effective January 1, 2006.

Sisneros had proposed the legislation and appeared in support of the bill before state House and Senate committees, along with Rep. Edward Acevedo and Sen. Iris Martinez, legislative sponsors of the bill. Language in Sisneros’ proposal was retained in both the senate bill and the law.

P.A. 094-0597 also provides a consultative role for the Illinois Association of Hispanic State Employees with the Department of Central Management Services in annual planning and reporting to the General Assembly. IAHSE issued a statement thanking Sisneros for “lending his expertise and hard work to pass this important legislation.”

Blagojevich noted in signing the bill, “Hispanics are the fastest-growing group in Illinois. As we recognize their contributions to the state’s economy and diversity, we need to make sure they have increased access to jobs in state government. I am glad to work with the General Assembly’s Latino Caucus to continue empowering Hispanics in Illinois.”

CMS Acting Director Paul Campbell said, “Agencies will hire more Hispanics as a result of this legislation, which will ultimately allow the state to more efficiently and effectively administer its services.”

Said Sisneros, “The public affairs orientation at UIS has facilitated my advocacy efforts. I am very pleased to have been engaged in activity to produce this much-needed balance between equity and administrative efficiency. While some concerns remain on the anti-discrimination front, I applaud the leadership provided by the Latino Caucus, Governor Blagojevich, and the General Assembly.”

During the 1990s, Sisneros was also instrumental in the proposal and adoption of the Illinois State Employment Records Act and in enhancing reporting and assessment needs for the Bilingual Pay Act.

 

    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs – 21 bachelor’s, 20 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.
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