Round 2 applications now being accepted by DCEO

02252020HAO0929MARYVILLE – To mend digital inequities in rural areas of the Metro East region, State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) and State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) are urging local organizations to apply for a portion of $50 million in available funding through the second round of the Connect Illinois broadband expansion program.

“High-speed internet is one of the most important resources for households and businesses, especially in our current climate,” Belt said. “To ensure that no child, family or business is left behind, I encourage eligible applicants in the Metro East area to apply for the Connect Illinois program.”

The second round of Connect Illinois grants will award up to $5 million per project. At least 50 percent of total project expenses must be provided as nonstate match, be it from private, local or other nonstate sources, to accelerate the delivery of broadband investments. Internet service providers, rural cooperatives, nonprofits and local governments are eligible to apply.

“To ensure small businesses are able to compete and residents are able to connect at work and school, access to reliable, high-speed internet is critical,” Crowe said. “Communities must have the resources to support local digital demands, and applying for this grant is a simple way to expand broadband opportunities to those living in rural and underserved areas.”

Funding for the Connect Illinois program is made possible through Rebuild Illinois, the state’s historic, bipartisan $45 billion statewide construction program, which has dedicated $420 million to expanding broadband infrastructure.

The application will remain open through February 2021. The application and more information on this grant program can be found on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website.

Category: Uncategorised

03042019MH0061MARYVILLE - To ensure local fire departments are prepared to protect residents, State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) and State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) are highlighting the Office of the State Fire Marshal’s (OSFM) Small Equipment Grant Program and encouraging fire departments to apply.

“Local fire departments are the first to respond to life-threatening emergencies, and to continue to do this extremely important job, they need the right equipment,” Belt said. “The Small Equipment Grant Program will offer the support our local fire departments deserve, which is why Sen. Crowe and I are urging them to apply.”   

Read more: Belt, Crowe urge local fire departments to apply for equipment grants

Category: Uncategorised

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SPRINGFIELD – Several counties along the Mississippi and Illinois rivers have been affected by massive flooding in recent weeks. State senators Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) and Christopher Belt (D-Cahokia) from the Metro East area of Illinois issued the following statements regarding the state’s comprehensive effort to combat the rising water:

“It’s overwhelming to see the impact the rivers have had on homes and businesses, but the work of the National Guard, IEMA, elected officials, law enforcement and volunteers proves that Madison County can handle anything,” Crowe said. “The men and women who have bagged sand, kept an eye on levees, supported citizens evacuating and kept everyone safe through this over 100-day progression are the true heroes.”

“This flooding has affected numerous of communities throughout the state and many neighborhoods in my district that border the Mississippi River,” Belt said. “These communities have seen a substantial amount of hardship over the past few months, so I commend Gov. Pritzker for providing resources that will help them recover from the destruction that this heavy rain has done.”

Crowe and Belt also remind residents to be cautious when hiring contractors to repair damage to their homes and businesses. Scammers often move quickly into communities to exploit people with damage to their homes or businesses. A few tips: never pay in cash, ask to see state and local licenses and get all terms in writing.

Residents needing assistance are urged to reach out to Crowe or Belt’s district offices.

Senator Crowe’s Office: (618) 251-9840

Senator Belt’s Office: (618) 875-1212

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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Cahokia) released the following statement after voting on a budget that increases funding for violence prevention grants, education, MAP, AIM HIGH and DCFS.

“This year’s budget keeps Illinois on the road toward stability and truly channels the needs of the working families in Illinois,” Belt said. “Increasing funding to these programs boosts our students’ growth and also puts our state in a better position than before.” 

“Also, the budget is creating new jobs opportunities and revolves around stopping low-income families from leaving the state,” Belt said.     

The budget appropriates $12 million in grants to address violence prevention efforts state statewide, including downstate communities, Chicago and the suburbs.

P-12 education will have record-breaking funding of $8.8 billion, and higher education will receive a 5 percent increase to support community college and universities. Local districts will receive an additional $26 million for students’ transportation costs.

The Monetary Award Program (MAP) will receive $451 million in next year’s budget – a $50 million increase over last year.

AIM HIGH, a program that works to reduce the costs of college for working and middle-class students, will receive an additional $10 million in funding, a move Belt hopes will help combat student out migration.

DCFS will receive an additional $100 million to hire 300 staff and caseworkers, reducing worker caseload and ensuring more attentive oversight for children and families under the agency’s care.

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