CHAMPAIGNbroadband 062520 To support the many Illinoisans working and learning from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is pleased to announce the Housing Authority of Champaign County has been selected to receive a state grant funding broadband advancements across the community.

“This pandemic has served as a reminder to residents just how crucial broadband access is,” Bennett said. “Many rural areas lack high-speed internet service, but this grant will enhance broadband accessibility and ensure those communities can stay connected.”

The Housing Authority of Champaign is one of 12 organizations to receive a grant from the Illinois Dept. of Commerce and Economic Opportunity through the Illinois Connected Communities program, created to help build broadband capacity in underserved areas.

In addition to an award of up to $15,000, the 12-month program provides free expert consultation to enable each Illinois Connected Community to complete a plan for expanding broadband that identifies actions to improve internet access in the areas of community and economic development, education, civic engagement, healthcare, agriculture, and more.

The program directs $150,000 in state-funded small grants for community and local government partners to help improve access to high-speed broadband in their communities. The state grants will be matched by $150,000 in philanthropic funds.

These grants will help lay the groundwork for individual communities to play a part in Connect Illinois, a $420 million program to bring basic internet access to all communities by 2024. Connect Illinois contemplates a second round of grants later this year.

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CHAMPAIGN – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is pleased to congratulate three area education institutions who received more than $200,000 total in literacy grants to help adult learners develop their reading, math, writing and English-language skills.

“Literacy is fundamental to learning and cannot be taken for granted,” Bennett said. “These programs present a wonderful opportunity for volunteer tutors to help others improve their lives through literacy and education.”

The following education institutions within the 52nd Illinois Senate District have been chosen to receive grants:

Grantee  Grant Amount 
 Parkland College  $132,167.00
 Danville Area Community College  $63,345.00
 Urbana School District #116  $5,565.00

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planning grantCHAMPAIGN – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is awarding a planning grant to the Champaign County Systemic Safety Evaluation Tool project, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) announced Tuesday.

“I am thrilled we have secured these funds for Champaign County,” Bennett said. “This grant will enhance safety, improve livability and support economic development in our community.”

Champaign County will use the grant to develop an interactive map of the local road network to show assessed level of risk for safety incidents.

The grants are designed to advance the objectives of IDOT’s Illinois Long-Range Transportation Plan page. Among the criteria considered were plans that implement asset management strategies and performance-based planning and programming, as well as activities that grow and support economically distressed areas.

“Now more than ever, it is critical that we strengthen opportunities for economic growth and job creation,” Bennett said. “Securing vital infrastructure will allow our community to thrive and prosper.”

IDOT awarded 52 grants totaling more than $38 million to support the planning efforts of long-range transportation projects across the state.

INDIANOfire truck 1525129102GlALA – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) announced this week that a more than $25,000 grant has been awarded to the Carroll Township Fire Protection District as part of the state’s Small Equipment Grant Program.

“We need our firefighters in good equipment to go out and save lives,” Bennett said. “Funding is already difficult for rural volunteer fire departments, and this grant is a great opportunity to help with the deficit in funds for much needed equipment.”

The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal awarded the grant to give Illinois first responders the opportunity to replace or upgrade aging equipment they may otherwise not be able to purchase.

The program is an innovative approach to a problem that has long caused difficulties for fire departments and not-for-profit ambulance services in the state, particularly those that struggle to generate the necessary revenue for small equipment, such as air-packs and portable radios.

In total, the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal awarded $3.5 million in grants to 154 fire departments, fire districts and EMS providers. A complete list of grant recipients can be found here.

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