Unemployment Insurance: The Illinois Department of Employment Security will be paying $450 million towards the remaining $1.8 billion hole in the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. The Agency attributes the ability to make this payment to low unemployment insurance claims. As you may recall, in March, the General Assembly approved (and the Governor signed into law) the use of $2.7 billion in ARPA recovery dollars to pay down the then $4.5 billion Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund shortfall. The agreed bill process is charged with finding solutions to address the remaining shortfall in the Trust Fund. Capitol News covers the topic in more detail here.
Conservation Funding: The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) announced the approval of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS) and Conservation Planning Assistance grant agreement. The IDOA/NRCS partnership leverages $3.5 million Illinois state NLRS funds with $9.8 million of federal funds from the USDA/NRCS to deliver over $13.3 million in new funding to support conservation planning and NLRS staffing and programming.
The project will allow the addition of up to 40 conservation planners across the state of Illinois. The conservation planners will increase Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) technical assistance for planning, implementation, and maintenance. They will increase capacity to develop new conservation plans and to conduct conservation implementation follow-up to improve conservation successes.
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations: The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency released a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the purchase and installation of new Direct Current Fast Charging (DCFC) light-duty electric vehicle charging stations at publicly accessible locations. The NOFO and related documents have been posted to the Illinois EPA website. Read more here.
Meanwhile, The Illinois Department of Transportation announced that the Federal Highway Administration approved its plan to build an electric vehicle charging network throughout the state. Illinois will receive more than $148 million in federal funding from the National Vehicle Infrastructure program over the next five years to build out a network of public EV charging stations across the state. As a next step in implementing the EV Infrastructure plan, IDOT is developing a Request for Information to gather information from potential vendors of equipment and host sites for EV chargers.
IDOT will be hosting stakeholder meetings throughout the remainder of 2022. These meetings will be open to the public where people can learn more about the program and provide feedback. More detail on these meetings will become available as they are scheduled. Recordings of previously held public meetings can be found on IDOT’s website.
102nd GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
State Senator Emil Jones III pleaded not guilty in Federal court to three counts stemming from an alleged bribery scheme. Jones waived his right to a formal indictment by a grand jury and allowed prosecutors to file the charges through what is called “an information”. Capitol News Illinois provides more coverage here.