Update from Senator Plummer: June 20

Senate Republicans Oppose Closure of Logan Women’s Prison, Urge COGFA to Maintain Current Location  The Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) held public meetings during the week about the proposed closure of Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill and Logan Correctional Center, a women’s prison located in Lincoln. In March, the Pritzker Administration announced plans to demolish and rebuild the Logan facility but did not commit to rebuilding the women’s prison, which employs approximately 500 people, in Lincoln. Residents of the Central Illinois city say that permanently closing the facility would devastate the local economy. Amid swirling uncertainty surrounding Logan Correctional Center’s future, members of the Senate Republican Caucus sent a letter to COGFA expressing their opposition to its closure ahead of last week’s hearings. In this letter, they acknowledged the need for renovations at the aging facility but insisted that relocating it would create unnecessary challenges for both the dedicated staff and the residents, many of whom are from Central and Southern Illinois. They continued by saying that keeping this facility open in its current location would not only save local jobs but also minimize disruptions for incarcerated women and their families. All Senate Republican members signed the letter, urging COGFA to oppose relocation plans.
Computer Lock
Illinois Secretary of State’s Office Issues Notice of Data Breach The Illinois Secretary of State’s Office is warning Illinois residents of a data breach that may have exposed their personal data. Out of an abundance of caution, around 50,000 residents received letters concerning a “data security incident” that occurred in early April. The letter stated that an unidentified individual gained access to the Lake County government’s computer system and sent a phishing email to Illinois Secretary of State employees. The letter noted that the breach had potentially exposed names, driver’s licenses, and Social Security numbers. In a statement shared by NBC Chicago, the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office said, “The office’s Department of Information Technology and cyber security teams acted within hours to contain and mitigate the phishing incident, and none of the agency’s databases, including those containing driver and vehicle records, were compromised.”  The Office also noted that they intend to enhance cybersecurity measures and plan to reinforce the security frameworks against future attacks. 
School Bus
IDOT Safe Route Grants Aims to Enhance School Travel Safety The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has announced grant recipients for local projects to improve safety and accessibility for children traveling to school.  Safe Routes to School is a federal program managed by IDOT that aims to improve safety and encourage active transportation around elementary, middle, and high schools. The program focuses on upgrading and installing sidewalks, implementing measures to curb speeding and traffic violations, and conducting public education and outreach initiatives. The grants, totaling $9.8 million across 47 Illinois communities, prioritize infrastructure improvements that help prevent accidents, foster independence among children, and help create healthy habits.  Recipients in the 55th District include Centralia, Flora, and Greenville.  To view a complete list of grant recipients, visit http://www.idot.illinois.gov/srts
Dollars Pencil
DCEO Awards $41 Million in Grants for Public Infrastructure Public infrastructure is getting a boost, as the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has announced the recipients of Community Development Block Grants (CDBG). This funding will support essential water, sewer, and drainage system repairs, benefiting Illinois residents and improving overall quality of life. The grants, totaling $41 million across 32 communities, aim to ensure equitable access to clean water and modern utilities, particularly in underserved areas.  Projects include storm sewer construction, waterline replacements, and water storage tank installations to address flooding and sewage management issues.  The CDBG program, celebrating its 50th anniversary, has been instrumental in supporting infrastructure, economic development, and housing initiatives for vulnerable communities, with over $165 million awarded in the last seven years. 
Dollar Signs
Local Chambers of Commerce Awarded B2B Grants More than 150 local chambers of commerce will be awarded a share of $5 million in grant funding through the state’s Back to Business (B2B) Local Chambers program. The state’s B2B Local Chambers program, which the Illinois Department of Economic Opportunity administers, provides additional support for local chambers of commerce still recovering from the negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Governor’s lockdowns. Eligible chambers of commerce include organizations of businesses and professionals dedicated to improving the economic and business development within their communities that experienced a negative financial impact from the pandemic and have an annual revenue of $1 million or less. Local chambers within the 55th Senate District to receive a grant includes: Centralia Chamber of Commerce, Edwardsville Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce, Nashville Chamber of Commerce, Troy/Maryville Chamber of Commerce, and Vandalia Chamber of Commerce. A full list of grant recipients can be found here.
Jason Plummer

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