REV CreditsSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Christopher Belt is pushing for tax credits for electric vehicle manufactures as part of the General Assembly’s final revenue package.

This will incentivize electric vehicle manufacturing and renewable energy investments in Illinois and will pave the way for significant economic growth and a cleaner, more sustainable future for the state.

“Tax credits for electric vehicle and renewable energy manufacturers will result in economic prosperity in our state,” said Belt (D-Swansea). “In addition, this will send a clear message that Illinois is open for a favorable business environment and committed to sustainable innovation.”

Senate Bill 2576 would establish tax credits, known as Renewable Energy Vehicle credits, for qualifying electric vehicle and renewable energy manufactures that make substantial investments in capital improvements and maintain a strong workforce. To qualify, businesses must invest a minimum of $500 million in capital improvements and retain at least 800 full-time employees at the project site.

Belt’s proposal does not require businesses to create new jobs in order to be eligible for the tax credits if they enter into an agreement after the bill becomes a law and before June 1, 2024. This provides flexibility to ensure that existing businesses in the electric vehicle and renewable energy sectors can also benefit from the REV credits while focusing on expanding their business operations.

“This truly would be a win-win for both our economy and our environment,” said Belt. “Boosting electric vehicle manufacturing will build a more prosperous future for our state.”

As budget and revenue negotiations continue, Belt will continue to push for this tax credit to be part of the General Assembly’s final proposal.

Category: Press Releases

TeachersWanted1SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Christopher Belt advanced a measure out of the Senate Wednesday that would help address the ongoing teacher shortage in Illinois.

“The entire state is having issues with recruiting and retaining quality teachers in schools,” said Belt (D-Swansea). “It’s apparent that we need to be investing more in our educators, as they have a significant impact on our children.”

House Bill 3801 would provide retention bonuses of $4,000 per year, for two consecutive years to teachers who are National Board Certified and are employed in hard-to-staff schools. A hard-to-staff school is a public school that no less than 30% of the student enrollment is considered low-income. Becoming a National Board Certified teacher is a career continuum for those who start in pre-service teacher preparation, leading aspiring teachers to pursue and achieve National Board Certification.

This measure aims to provide an incentive for teachers to work in underserved areas, as these are the areas that are most affected by the current teacher shortage.

“Without enough well-equipped teachers in our classrooms, we cannot provide children with the education they deserve,” said Belt. “It’s not just a numbers problem, but a moral imperative to ensure they have access to education that will guide their futures.”

House Bill 3801 passed the Senate.

Category: Press Releases

HousingAuthorityEAST ST. LOUIS – State Senator Christopher Belt joined the Illinois Housing Development Authority in announcing $15 million in available grant funding to support affordable housing and community revitalization efforts across the state.

“Community revitalization is essential for the health and well-being of our state,” said Belt (D-Swansea). “It is important that we invest in the people and communities that have been most impacted by disinvestment and neglect.”

The funding is available under the second round of IHDA’s Strong Communities Program. The Strong Communities Program provides grants of up to $750,000 to help Illinois municipalities, counties and land banks address local affordable housing needs and community revitalization efforts. The program aims to return vacant residential properties to productive and taxable use through rehabilitation and provide funds for demolition in cases where properties are beyond repair and negatively impacting neighboring residences. As a result, SCP will help to increase property values, create jobs, help reduce crime, generate additional tax revenue and attract further community investment.

The grants are funded by the Rebuild Illinois capital plan and will leverage IHDA’s ongoing state- and federally-funded revitalization initiatives in underserved communities around the state. A total of $30 million in grant funding will be awarded through the program over the two application rounds.

“As our infrastructure ages, it is imperative our housing stock receive the care and upgrades necessary to keep them viable,” said IHDA Executive Director Kristin Faust. “If the properties are abandoned or vacant, it is on the city or county to maintain them at the cost of the taxpayers. The Strong Communities Program is helping offset some of the cost burden to help local governments invest in their cities by revitalizing these properties.”

A link to the application can be found here. Applications will be accepted through 3 p.m. on Wednesday June 7, 2023.

Category: Press Releases

041923KP18561SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Christopher Belt advanced a measure through the Senate that would establish the Justice40 Oversight Committee to move the Justice40 initiative forward in Illinois.

“We have seen how climate change and environmental degradation has negatively affected communities all over the nation, specifically disadvantaged ones,” said Belt (D-Swansea). “As lawmakers, it’s our responsibility to address these issues and begin to prioritize investments in climate and clean energy.”

The federal government created the Justice40 initiative to confront and address decades of underinvestment in disadvantaged communities. The initiative is to deliver at least 40% of the overall benefits from federal investments in climate change and clean energy to disadvantaged communities.

House Bill 2487 would create the Justice40 Oversight Committee to advance this federal initiative in the state. The committee would be responsible for compiling findings, conclusions and recommendations regarding environmental justice and uses of federal funds for climate change and clean energy purposes.

“This is a major win for many communities around the state that have been disproportionately impacted by climate change and pollution,” said Belt. “It’s a significant step forward toward a more equitable and just transition to a clean energy economy.”

House Bill 2487 passed the Senate.

Category: Press Releases

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