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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Scott Bennett’s (D-Champaign) plan to provide more support to local tourism groups was signed by the governor last week.

Currently, as much as a tenth of the money intended for local tourism groups is being used by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunities (DCEO) for administrative costs. Bennett’s new law would limit DCEO’s current 10 percent cut of the local tourism funds to 3 percent in order to bring that money back into local tourism offices where it can be better spent.

“We all know how valuable our local tourism programs are, especially in Illinois’ bicentennial year,” Bennett said. “This new law will help move money from Springfield and into local tourism offices where it can be better spent.”

Due to the state’s backlog of unpaid bills, local tourism groups like Visit Champaign County have not been receiving state funding to help cover overhead. They have been forced to cancel events, cut advertisements, leave positions unfilled and send fewer people out on the road to promote their cities.

“Our state has so much to offer,” Bennett said. “This is a step in the right direction to help better promote our communities as destinations and bring money back to Illinois.”

The governor signed the law Friday, and it takes effect immediately.

 

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