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Judge Suspends Minority Requirement for State Bids

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – A U-S District Court Judge has suspended Missouri's requirement that a certain percentage of each state contract go to minority-owned businesses.

A preliminary injunction was issued Monday in Kansas City in response to a lawsuit brought by Behavioral Interventions Incorporated. The company says it was passed over for a state contract because it could only provide 19 percent women and minority participation.

The state's goal is 30 percent.

Jim Gardner, a spokesman for the state attorney general's office, says it's the first time a judge has ordered the practice stopped, but not the first lawsuit.

"This is not the first time that the issue has been raised regarding the procurement procedure in Missouri and certainly won't be the last," Gardner said.

The suspension is in place until the lawsuit is resolved. The case is expected to go to trial in May.

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