illinois horseshoe lake state park playgroundThe Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is now accepting applications for Park and Recreational Facility Construction (PARC) grants, which provides financial assistance to eligible local governments for construction and conservation projects.

Eligible projects include new construction and reconstruction of indoor and outdoor recreation facilities. Local governments are also encouraged to apply for assistance with land purchases and conservation projects to protect floodplains, wetlands, geologic features and wildlife habitat. Project costs may range from $25,000 to $2.5 million.

The program reimburses up to 75% of approved project costs, and up to 90% of costs for governments defined as "disadvantaged." The IDNR expects to distribute $25 million in total to grant recipients.

To apply to the PARC program, click here. The application deadline is Jan. 21, 2020.

The PARC program is one of many Illinois grant programs, which offer financial assistance to local governments, small businesses, public libraries and schools. If you are interested in applying for a grant through one of these programs, you can find a complete listing of all state grant opportunities here. The page is updated frequently, and specific listings will be posted on the site when the program application period begins.

11122019HAO 0423SPRINGFIELD – Prompted by a recent report detailing the appalling misuse of “quiet rooms” in Illinois schools, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) has announced her support of a House bill that aims to end the use of isolation and seclusion as punishment in Illinois.

In response to the report, Rep. Jonathan Carroll (D-Northbrook), a former special education teacher, has filed House Bill 3975 to ban Illinois schools from using isolation, a measure Murphy strongly supports.

“Putting a child in a quiet room is an extreme, potentially traumatizing course of action, and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly,” Murphy said. “It’s time to end the abuse of this practice in Illinois schools.”

Read more: Murphy: Illinois must put an end to seclusion and isolation in schools

Senator MurphySPRINGFIELD – State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) voted to pass two government ethics measures today. The legislation strengthens current ethics laws and establishes a bipartisan commission to make recommendations on where the laws can be improved in the future.

“Recent events in Springfield and Washington have amplified people’s mistrust in government,” Murphy said. “We need to take bold steps to regain public trust and make sure that bad actors are held accountable for their actions.”

Senate Bill 1639 increases what must be disclosed on a Statement of Economic Interests, requires the secretary of state to create a database of lobbyist contributions and statements of economic interests filed by state officials, and requires lobbyists to disclose their subcontractors.

House Joint Resolution 93 creates the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform. The commission will consist of 16 members appointed by legislative leaders, the governor, the secretary of state and the attorney general. No member may have been a lobbyist in the past five years. The commission will hold a series of public hearings to review various ethics laws and make final recommendations by March 31, 2020.

“These measures are just the start of ethics reform in Springfield,” Murphy said. “I plan to go further in the upcoming session.”

House Joint Resolution 93 takes effect immediately and Senate Bill 1639 awaits the governor’s signature.

Pedestrian Crossing SignSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) advanced a measure from the Illinois Senate to address pedestrian fatalities on state highways.

“This is a very personal issue to me,” Murphy said. “In Des Plaines we’ve witnessed four separate pedestrian fatalities at the same intersection, and countless other close calls. The local police department even did a sting operation and cited dozens of drivers for not yielding to pedestrians there.”

Senate Bill 767 would require the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to conduct a traffic study for each pedestrian fatality on a state highway. Studies would consider design improvements, traffic control devices and any other improvements that IDOT may recommend.

The measure passed the Senate 49-1 and will go to the House for consideration.

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Office Info

Springfield Office:
108E Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-3875

District Office:
880 Lee St. Suite 100
Des Plaines, IL 60016

 (847) 718-1110