01132021CM0747SPRINGFIELD – Illinoisans looking to update their wills or establish end-of-life plans have faced barriers during the pandemic due to a rule requiring in-person court hearings, inspiring State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) to introduce an initiative to update current practices for remote and electronic filings. The measure passed through the Senate’s Judiciary Committee Tuesday.

“Over the last year, more aspects of our daily lives have gone digital, but the procedure for estate planning has lagged behind as technology advances,” Crowe said. “Providing residents the option to have remote will hearings and electronic filings makes the process quicker and simpler.”

Executive Order 2020-14, filed in March 2020, gave notaries and witnesses the ability to finalize documents remotely during the pandemic. Crowe’s legislation works in collaboration with the executive order to allow wills to be signed electronically and hearings to be conducted virtually.

Tuesday was the first virtual meeting of the Judiciary Committee under Crowe’s leadership as chair.

Senate Bill 72 moves for further consideration before the full Senate.

Category: Press Releases

e0e199acd15b2c54a17de6be507cf7f7MARYVILLE – With the Paycheck Protection Program now more accessible to smaller businesses, State Senator Rachelle Crowe wants to make sure local entrepreneurs are aware of recent changes to the federal program.

“The federal Paycheck Protection Program has been a great opportunity that has helped many of our local small businesses overcome financial burdens, but it was difficult to access for some of our smallest business owners,” Crowe said. “If you looked into the program before but decided you didn’t qualify or wouldn’t be able to fill out the paperwork, it’s worth looking into again after the recent changes.”

The loan calculation formula has been changed in hopes of making it easier for sole proprietors, independent contractors and self-employed residents to qualify for relief. They’ve also established that student loan debt and prior incarceration will no longer prevent small business owners from obtaining relief.

“If your business employs 20 people or less, now is the time to apply,” Crowe added. “The federal government has opened a special window where only the smallest businesses – which make up 98% of the small business community – can apply.”

This special application window opened Feb. 24 and extends for two weeks.

More information about the PPP program, including how to apply, is available on the Small Business Administration’s website.

Category: Press Releases

riverbendWOOD RIVER – The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has selected Riverbend Family Ministries in Wood River to receive a grant of nearly $500,000 to expand services in the Metro East, State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) announced Thursday.

“By investing in local organizations, our state solidifies its commitment to improving opportunities and services that many residents depend on,” Crowe said. “Riverbend Family Ministries is such a blessing to the Metro East, and I am thrilled to see the state recognize its community work and fund its expansion.”

To renovate and expand nonprofit business incubation and its Community Services Center, Riverbend Family Ministries has been awarded $493,892 from DCEO’s Rebuild Illinois capital grant program.

Projects requiring a substantial upfront investment in order to begin construction were chosen to receive funds through the Shovel Ready Infrastructure Capital Program.

“With this grant, RFM will provide more space for each organization and further opportunities for training and education while being able to serve and strengthen more individuals, youth and families affected by trauma,” said Tammy Iskarous, Executive Director of Riverbend Family Ministries. “We are so grateful to be selected as a recipient of this grant and want to thank the governor and DCEO for believing in the work that RFM continues to accomplish in Madison County.”

Riverbend Family Ministries provides resources for smaller nonprofit organizations to work together in providing families and individuals the tools they need to be self-sufficient.

Riverbend Family Ministries is one of 11 Shovel Ready grant recipients across the state. In total, the program distributed $11 million in grants for new capital development projects.

All funded projects are supported by Rebuild Illinois – the state’s $45 billion, 5-year capital program. DCEO is leading multiple Rebuild Illinois programs, including investments to expand broadband capacity, fund new public works projects, incentivize business development and other initiatives designed to promote economic growth for all communities across the state.

Visit DCEO’s website for updates on future Rebuild Illinois funding opportunities.

Category: Press Releases

01112021CM0289SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) has been appointed to serve on the bipartisan Illinois Legislative Audit Commission.

“Ensuring transparent, bipartisan oversight of our state agencies is important to the functionality and integrity of a fair government,” Crowe said. “I’m pleased to have the opportunity to continue the commission’s work with my colleagues.”

Crowe is one of 12 legislators appointed to the commission by the Illinois Senate and House of Representatives to oversee the State Audit Program, review the administration of public funds and recommend actions to improve agency policies.

The commission will review all audits conducted by the State Auditor General. Primary responsibilities of the commission include:

  • Hosting public hearings on all major audits of state agencies to review problems, review agency administration, and secure corrective action;
  • Making recommendations to the General Assembly and agency management for corrective legislation and other methods to strengthen weaknesses revealed through audits or at commission hearings; and
  • Monitoring agency progress in implementing corrective action.

For additional information on the commission and upcoming meetings, visit the ILGA website.

Category: Press Releases

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District Offices
35 Executive Plaza Court
Maryville, IL 62062
(618) 251-9840 P

111 N. Wood River Ave., Suite A
Wood River, IL 62095
(By appointment only)
(618) 251-9840 P

Springfield Office
311B Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-5247 P

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