- Associated Press - Thursday, January 5, 2017

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island’s governor has signed two executive orders to boost minority-owned businesses.

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo signed the orders Thursday at Providence’s Algonquin House. She also announced a new goal to double the utilization rate of state contracts going to businesses owned by minorities, women or people with disabilities.

The state says just over 6 percent of state procurement dollars went to such businesses last year, up from 4 percent for each of the two previous years. Raimondo’s goal is to get it to 12 percent by 2020.

One executive order will create a working group to increase diversity in construction projects. She is also creating a new advisory council to advise the existing Office of Diversity, Equity and Opportunity.

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