IDOT is hiring for several of their seasonal roles related to snow and ice removal in Peoria, Fulton, and Tazewell Counties. IDOT will be hiring multiple people per posting. Click the links below for more details:
 
 
 
 
Note: Due to ethics regulations, Senator Koehler cannot assist in placement.
Category: Latest

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SPRINGFIELD – In response to decreased use of health care services through Medicaid managed care organizations throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, state Senate Assistant Majority Leader Dave Koehler, D-Peoria, and state House Assistant Majority Leader Fred Crespo, D-Hoffman Estates, filed legislation today to require companies to return excess profits and reallocate funding to critical health care services. 

“While insurance companies and managed care organizations see record-setting profits at the height of a global pandemic, rural communities across the state are experiencing unsustainable strain in their health care systems due to lack of resources,” Koehler said. “The money recouped through this legislation would provide immediate relief for Downstate hospitals that have been devastated by COVID-19.” 

Hospitals across the state are facing an unprecedented decline in outpatient procedures and elective surgeries as a result of the pandemic, contributing to severe financial strain on health care facilities that serve Illinois’ most vulnerable populations. Conversely, MCOs in Illinois have benefitted from these declines, as enrollment-based payments have continued despite decreased use of non-emergency health care services.

In response, Koehler and Crespo introduced Senate Bill 4207 House Bill 5867, respectively, which seeks to reallocatea portion of enrollment-based payments made to Medicaid MCOs throughout the pandemic. From an estimated monthly payment of $1.7 billion, a 20% return would yield $340 million per month that can provide needed relief to hospitals and other health care facilities that have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis. In addition, recouping these funds can provide relief to health care service providers that may be impacted by state budget deficits. 

“While safety net and critical care providers are struggling to remain open and serve their communities, MCO’s are continuing to receive over a billion dollars in state and federal funding each month,” said Crespo. “Residents across Illinois are making significant sacrifices in order to protect themselves and their communities, and we’ve even seen the auto insurance and cable television industries return unused money to consumers. It is unacceptable that MCO’s are profiting off of taxpayer dollars that aren’t being used. Clawing back some of the funding that MCO’s have received throughout the pandemic and reallocating those dollars to health care providers in low-income and rural communities could help hospitals remain open amid ongoing financial instability that has been exacerbated by the pandemic.”

“Minority communities have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and its devastating impact on their health and economic wellbeing,” said Jose Sanchez, President and CEO of Norwegian American Hospital in Chicago. “It’s only fair that the Medicaid managed care organizations provide desperately needed relief to our communities by sharing part of the record profits they have made during the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

For more information on Senate Bill 4207, please visit contact Senator Koehler’s office via email or by calling (309) 677-0120.

Category: Press Releases

Businesses and Non-Profits

Rebuild Distressed Communities

What: Rebuild Distressed Communities is a $25 million economic recovery program to support economically distressed Illinois businesses and communities that have sustained property damage due to civil unrest on or after May 25th, 2020. DCEO has partnered with two community organizations, Local Initiative Services Corporation (LISC) and Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives, Inc. (CNI), to operate the program on behalf of DCEO. The Rebuild Distressed Communities grant program will reimburse the cost of repairs for structural damages, including repairs to storefronts and entrances, improving electrical systems, and restoring exterior work. For work yet to be completed, LISC and CNI will partner with local contractors and pay for them to perform the work.

Potential applicants: Businesses and non-profits that have sustained property damage as a result of civil unrest during protests and demonstrations on or after May 25, 2020. Businesses located in the zip codes listed here are eligible to apply.  Businesses not listed in those zip codes may still be eligible if they operate in an economically distressed area, listed here, and may apply to have their zip code included.

How Much: $25 million total. Grants will be made in amounts ranging from $1,000 to $200,000.

Due: Round 1 has closed, but Round 2 will be open in the coming weeks. In the meantime, applicants can prepare their application and receive technical assistance.

Apply: To prepare an application, click here

Wet Lab Capital Program

What: Wet labs are laboratories with specialized ventilation and utility connections to allow for research of chemicals and materials. They are critical for life sciences innovation to thrive but require large amounts of physical space and are costly to build. Available wet lab space is scarce throughout Illinois, which limits the competitiveness of the state’s life sciences sector, despite our other advantages. This grant will encourage the development of wet lab space that will be multi-tenant shared space available to incubators, corporations, university researchers, and start-ups.

Potential applicants: Likely non-profits or businesses that have experience in development of wet lab facilities, but all are eligible.

How Much: $9 million. We anticipate awarding 1 to 4 grants.

Due: January 27th, 2021 at 5pm

Apply: Applicants can apply online here. They can submit questions on this NOFO by clicking here.

 

Downstate Local Governments

Downstate Manufacturing Training Academies

What: Illinois will establish two new innovative Manufacturing Trainings Academies that will expand opportunities for skills training, boost retention of manufacturers in downstate communities, and attract more investment by manufacturing companies throughout Illinois. These academies will offer specialized training that’s not widely available at downstate community colleges for high-demand manufacturing jobs such as machinery mechanics and computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine operators and programmers.

Potential applicants: Community college districts or coalitions of community college districts in downstate Illinois.

How Much: $15 million for two grants.

Due: January 31st, 2021 at 5pm

More Info: Original press release here.

Local CURE’s Economic Support Payments Grant Program

What: This program will reimburse local governments for providing grants to businesses that have experienced interruption of business attributable to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Potential applicants: Local governments outside of Cook, DuPage, Lake, Will, and Kane Counties.

How Much: $15 million, but there will likely be more money added to the program next month.

Due: Applications will be evaluated every two weeks until the funding is exhausted

More Info: FAQs can be found here.

 

Broadband

Connect Illinois Broadband Grant Program (Round 2)

What: Connect Illinois will support expanded broadband connections in new communities across the state. The application for the second round of funding largely mirrors requirements of the first application – including a 50 percent match in most cases. To ensure an equal playing field, the administration has instituted an exemption allowing a lower nonstate match for project proposals concerning economically distressed communities. This program change acknowledges the difficulty of connecting the hardest-to-serve areas of Illinois, and the compounding challenges created by the COVID-19 crisis, allowing underserved communities to be competitive when applying for critical infrastructure dollars.

Potential applicants: Eligible applicants include internet service providers, rural cooperatives, nonprofits and local governments.

How Much: $50 million. Up to $5 million per project.  

Due: March 1st, 2021 at 11:59 PM  

More Info: Original press release here.

Illinois Connected Communities Grant Program

What: The Illinois Connected Communities (ICC) program underwrites the cost of expert consultative services, and access to best practice curriculum, will be made available to assist with planning and progress around broadband access, adoption, and utilization.  A first round of state grant funding, combined with a philanthropic match, was directed to 12 community-based organizations in July to assist with planning to ensure access, adoption and utilization of high-speed broadband. This latest round will allow communities to apply for up to funding that will support community based broadband planning and capacity building.

Potential applicants: Local governments, libraries, schools, and various local organizations.

How Much: $150k, grant awards up to $15k.

Due: January 25th, 2021

Broadband Regional Engagement for Adoption and Digital Equity (READY)

What: Broadband READY grants will direct funding to identify current digital inequities as well as next steps in creating a digital inclusion ecosystem through regional collaboration among community and economic development organizations, education, local leaders and other related stakeholders.

Potential applicants: Public hospitals, libraries, park districts, and schools, senior citizen homes, and other public and private nonprofit or for-profit agencies and organizations.

How Much: $250k, grant awards up to $50k.

Due: December 23rd, 2020 at 5pm

 

Digital Navigator Collaboration

What: Navigators will work to address the digital inclusion process – including home connectivity, devices, and digital skills. Digital navigators will assess residents’ needs and connect with them to resources that match their households’ lifestyles. These navigators can be volunteers or cross-trained staff who already work in social service agencies, libraries, healthcare, and more and who will offer remote and socially distant in-person guidance.

Potential applicants: Local governments; libraries; schools; churches; or similarly oriented nonprofit organizations already serving communities with low broadband adoption, including institutions of higher education.

How Much: None. Membership in the Illinois Connected Community Digital Navigator Program is a non-monetary award to eligible applicants.

Due: January 11th, 2021

Category: Latest

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PEORIA – State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) wants to make sure all fire departments and ambulance services know that the Office of the State Fire Marshal is accepting applications for its Small Equipment Grant Program.

“During a time when local governments will rely on every last dollar, this grant program helps our firefighters and EMS providers buy vital equipment like masks and gloves,” Koehler said. “I encourage local fire departments and ambulance services to apply for this grant program.”

The program was created to help Illinois fire departments and not-for-profit ambulance services that struggle to afford the necessary equipment to do their jobs.

In June, the Small Equipment Grant Program awarded $3.5 million to 154 fire departments and EMS providers. Applicants can also apply for personal infection control items such as masks, gowns and gloves.

“We rely on our first responders, who have continued to work even during this pandemic,” Koehler said. “I’m thankful that the Office of the State Fire Marshal has this program to help them stay safe.”

Most Illinois fire departments, fire protection districts and township fire departments are eligible to apply. Stand-alone, not-for-profit ambulance service providers are eligible to apply as well.

For more information, visit the state fire marshal’s website.

Category: Press Releases

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Contact Info

Springfield Office:
323B Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8250

Peoria Office:
400 NE Jefferson, Suite 200
Peoria, IL 61603
(309) 677-0120