Durbin: Committee Recommends More Than $126 Million in Funding for Illinois Projects
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the final Omnibus Appropriations Act which includes $126,432,544 in funding for several Illinois projects was approved by a joint House and Senate Conference Committee of which Durbin is a member. The House and Senate are expected to take up and pass the legislation before the end of the year. The bill will then go to the President for his signature.
CHICAGO TRANSIT ($9,304,744): Today’s legislation includes over $9.3 million in funding to advance the Circle line project in Chicago; expand capacity along the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Ravenswood Brown Line; and rehabilitate a portion of the CTA Red Line. As Americans are driving less and riding more – American’s made 10.7 billion trips on public transit in 2008, a 4 percent increase over 2007 – our public transportation systems must improve service and expand capacity to meet demand.
EJ&E RAILWAY CROSSING MITIGATION ($2,948,000): Canadian National acquired the Eastern, Joliet and Elgin Railway and announced plans to increase traffic along the route from 5 freight trains per day to about 20 per day. This increase will likely have a severe impact on traffic congestion, emergency services and passenger and pedestrian safety. Today’s legislation provides $2,948,000 in funding to help communities along the EJ&E improve safety along at-grade railroad crossings facing significant increases in freight traffic.
CHICAGO YOUTH VIOLENCE PREVENTION ($500,000): In October, the Obama Administration began a national conversation on youth violence. Attorney General Eric Holder announced support for several programs that combat youth violence including Ceasefire, an accelerated community-based prevention, intervention, treatment and advocacy initiative. Today’s legislation provides $500,000 in funding for the Chicago Project for Violence Prevention to expand the Ceasefire program.
RURAL NURSING PROGRAM ($500,000): Everyone depends on nurses for quality patient care, yet the healthcare system in America lacks an adequate supply of nurses. By 2020, the shortage in Illinois alone could exceed 21,000. As the need for nurses grows, our ability to train more nurses is not keeping up. Today’s legislation includes $500,000 in funding to establish a regional nursing program at SIU's Carbondale campus. Currently, the only baccalaureate in nursing program south of Bloomington, Illinois is at SIU's Edwardsville campus.
MENTAL HEALTH COURT ($500,000): More than 150 mental health courts exist across the country including at least eight in Illinois. Studies have shown that mental health courts can reduce recidivism and produce cost savings within the system. Today’s legislation provides $500,000 in funding to create a mental health court in Peoria County that will allow the judicial system to adjudicate individuals with mental health issues who need prosecution and direct those needing service to the community’s mental health service providers.
The Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Omnibus Appropriations Act includes funding for the following projects:
Transportation, Housing and Urban Development
Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration:
• CTA Circle Line, Chicago: $1,500,000 in funding to advance the Circle Line. The project, which is currently in Alternatives Analysis, will connect the existing CTA Orange Line near Ashland with the existing Pink Line Cermak Branch near 18th Street. It will also connect CTA Red and Brown Lines near North/Clybourn and add new CTA and Metra transfer stations along new and existing CTA tracks. The Circle Line will reduce travel times and enhance access between the growing city center and the entire region.
• CTA Ravenswood Brown Line, Chicago: $304,744 in funding for the capacity, expansion and station rehabilitation New Start project along the Brown Line. This funding is part of the Full Funding Grant Agreement signed in 2003 and represents the final payment under that agreement.
• CTA Red Line North Rehabilitation, Chicago: $7,500,000 in funding for rehabilitation of the north end of the CTA Red Line, which is one of the oldest segments and most in need of rehab in the CTA system.
• Illinois Bus and Bus Facilities, Statewide: $3,896,000 in funding to purchase of new buses and the modernization and construction of bus facilities in areas outside of the RTA service region. This year, IDOT has identified almost $32 million in capital needs for downstate transit systems. The annual transit formula funding programs are not enough to meet these needs.
• Metra, Northeastern Illinois: $8,000,000 in funding for alternatives analysis and preliminary engineering on METRA's New Starts expansion projects including the Union Pacific Northwest, Union Pacific West, Suburban Transit Access Route (STAR) and SouthEast Service Lines.
Department of Transportation, Surface Transportation Program
• Knoxville Road, Mercer County: $487,000 in funding for the reconstruction and improvement of Knoxville Road. The Knoxville Road in Mercer County runs across the northeast corner of the County from Rock Island County to Henry County, carrying the second largest volume of traffic in the entire County. The road does not meet current construction and safety standards.
Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration:
• Railway-Highway Grade Crossing Mitigation, Galesburg: $2,922,000 in funding to accelerate the City’s efforts to build rail-road grade separations at East Main, West Main and Seminary Streets.
• Railway-Highway Grade Crossing Mitigation, Northeastern Illinois: $1,948,000 in funding to help communities along the EJ&E improve safety along at-grade railroad crossings facing significant increases in freight traffic
• Railway-Highway Grade Crossing Mitigation, Aurora: $1,000,000 in funding would help jumpstart work needed for a grade separation at Ogden Avenue. This grade-separation was mandated by the Surface Transportation Board when they approved the Canadian National’s purchase of the EJ&E Railway last year. Ogden Avenue is slated to see a four-fold increase in rail traffic in the coming years. This traffic increase is also likely to significantly increase traffic congestion, further emphasizing the need for a grade separation. Durbin worked with Reps. Foster and Biggert on this project.
• PEERS Rail-Grade Crossing Safety, Illinois: $487,000 in funding for the PEERS program to improve rail-grade crossing safety through education and enforcement initiatives. An Illinois Commerce Commission report quantitatively demonstrated the effectiveness of the PEERS program in improving safety at highway-rail crossings, detailing how the program helped reduce fatalities along a Union Pacific line by 56.5% in two years.
Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration:
• Southern Illinois University Airport, Carbondale: $779,200 in funding to construct an Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting Building and Snow Removal facility. This building will bring the firefighting equipment closer to the midpoint of the air carrier runway, permitting a quicker response time, and consolidate five widely-spread facilities currently being used by the airport's fire and snow removal crews.
• Quad Cities International Airport, Moline: $487,000 in funding for runway reconstruction and extension. The project will rebuild and extend the airport's main runway.
Department Of Housing And Urban Development (Economic Development Initiatives):
• East Springfield Redevelopment, Springfield: $340,900 in funding for the acquisition of abandoned properties and the upgrade of infrastructure on the East Side of Springfield.
• Danville Neighborhood Improvement Program, Danville: $340,900 in funding for the acquisition, demolition and redevelopment of dilapidated and abandoned structures in Danville. These buildings have brought down home values in the community, increased the potential for criminal activity, and have created a safety risk in the City.
• Peoria Glen Oak and Southern Gateway Neighborhoods Improvement, Peoria: $243,500 in funding for critical public infrastructure improvements around the Glen Oak Community School and Harrison Community School. The two schools are the anchors for their respective neighborhoods. The proposed improvements will help to stabilize and revitalize the area.
• Quincy Neighborhood Stabilization Expansion Program, Quincy: $194,800 in funding to expand the City's efforts to acquire blighted residential properties and produce affordable housing and facilitate mixed-use development.
• Rockford West Side Economic Development Initiative, Rockford: $500,000 in funding for the development of a 57-acre parcel located at the corner of West State and Springfield Ave. -- the mixed-use development would include a senior living facility, an immediate care facility, a private ambulance service and a fire training facility --and for road, sewer, utility and stormwater upgrades. Durbin worked with Congressman Don Manzullo (R-IL) on this project.
Military Construction and Veterans Affairs
• Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron Facility, Scott Air Force Base. $7,400,000 in funding for a new aeromedical evacuation facility at Scott Air Force Base. The current 50 year old facility is deteriorating rapidly; the heating, ventilation and airconditioning system is inadequate and the roof leaks. Frequent flooding makes the basement unusable and has led to ongoing mold issues in the building. A lack of work space makes it difficult to effectively perform daily and contingency operations. Funding would provide a two-story building that will consolidate into one facility the aeromedical evacuation functions that are currently housed in four buildings. The mission directly supports Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom by transferring wounded warriors to facilities across the United States in order to provide the best care and treatment for each soldier. Durbin worked with Congressman Jerry Costello (D-IL) on this initiative.
• Readiness Center Expansion, Milan. $5,600,000 in funding for the expansion of the Milan Readiness Center. Additional units have been based at Milan and the increase in personnel has resulted in a lack of adequate space at the existing facility. The expansion of the Milan Readiness Center will enhance training efficiency and mobilization readiness, and permit the facility to safeguard equipment in a more sustainable way. Cost effective energy conserving features will be incorporated into design and construction.
• Army Reserve Center, Chicago. $23,000,000 in funding to assist the Army Reserve in providing facilities to support the activation of new units to meet current and future war fighting missions. This project will provide thirteen acres of existing government land and a 600-member training facility with administrative, educational, assembly, library, learning center, vault, weapons simulator, and physical fitness areas for eleven Army Reserve units. The maintenance shop will provide work bays and maintenance administrative support.
• Reserve Training Center, Joliet Army Ammunition Plant, Joliet. $7,957,000 in funding to provide facilities for E Company, 4th Reconnaissance Battalion as a result of its relocation to Joliet and an increase in personnel. The existing facilities are inadequate in size and scope and the limited footprint is too small to allow for an expansion of the existing facility. Given the specialized training required by the reconnaissance unit, the new, single structure will provide storage for parachute equipment, scuba gear and other equipment and house a rappelling tower and boat shop.
• Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, Elwood. $38,300,000 in funding for gravesite expansion and cemetery improvements. The cemetery serves nearly 500,000 veterans in the Chicago metropolitan area, conducting over 2,400 interments in 2007 and over 15,000 interments since opening in 1999. Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery is projecting depletion of casketed gravesites by 2014. This project will develop approximately 20 acres to provide an estimated ten additional years of burial capacity. In addition to the gravesite development, the project will include a roadway system and parking in newly developed sections and improvements to roadways, parking, and walkways throughout existing cemetery; drainage improvements to correct existing burial area groundwater issues; landscape and re-grading to buffer the cemetery from adjacent land use; installation of a new irrigations system; and other improvements.
Financial Services and General Government
• Haymarket Center, Chicago. $700,000 to allow the Haymarket Center to develop and implement a workforce development initiative. This project will provide transitional employment for workers in the service industry.
• Illinois Eastern Community Colleges, Olney. $200,000 to expand the programming and operations of the Illinois Small Business Development Center, operated through Illinois Eastern Community Colleges and based in Olney, Illinois. The Small Business Development Center provides business counseling, feasibility studies, business planning and other services to a 17-county area in Southeastern Illinois.
• Illinois Institute of Independent Colleges and Universities. Lebanon/State-Wide. $294,500 to expand a mentoring program for K-12 teachers to receive in-classroom instruction, after-school education and distance learning.
• Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. $600,000 to expand the operations and outreach of the University Technology Park (UTP) at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Since opening, UTP has accommodated over 20 technology companies, adding over 120 jobs to the economy of Chicago’s South Side.
• Illinois State Library, Springfield. $300,000 to allow the Illinois State Library, in cooperation with the Illinois Library Association, to assist public libraries in expanding their small business and employment resources, including technology.
• Illinois State University, Normal. $500,000 to allow Illinois State University (ISU) to further develop the McLean County Business Incubator. This incubator will support local entrepreneurs and apply research conducted at ISU for commercial purposes.
• Shawnee Community College, Ullin. $200,000 to expand the programming and operations of the Illinois Small Business Development Center, housed at Shawnee Community College. The Small Business Center provides business counseling, small business workshops, business planning and other services to a 5-county area in Southern Illinois.
• Uhlich Children’s Advantage Network, Chicago. $400,000 to expand job training and placement services of Uhlich Children’s Advantage Network (UCAN). This UCAN program focuses on providing services to disadvantaged young adults who have separated from the foster care system.
• Western Illinois University, Macomb. $400,000 to expand the programming and operations of the Illinois Small Business Development Center, housed at Western Illinois University. The Small Business Development Center provides business counseling to prospective and established business owners and inventors in 12 counties in West-Central Illinois.
Labor, Health and Human Services and Education
Department of Health and Human Services
• Alivio Medical Center, Cicero: $1,000,000 in funding for a new facility at Alivio Medical Center. The new facility will allow Alivio to provide support services, a pharmacy, and a dental clinic to uninsured and underinsured populations.
• Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago: $500,000 in funding for continued the construction of the hospital's Comprehensive Cardiac Unit, which, when completed, will be one of the nation's few programs specifically designed and equipped to diagnosed and treat a broad range of complex heart conditions from infancy through young adulthood. Durbin worked with Members of the Chicago Congressional Delegation on this project.
• Easter Seals, Chicago: $250,000 in funding for the construction of Easter Seals’ new Therapeutic School and Center for Autism Research. This facility is the only one of its kind to combine on a single campus educational, research, training, early intervention, school-to-work transition and independent living capabilities. Easter Seals provides a well-integrated continuum of services for children with autism at a single campus facility.
• Erie Neighborhood House, Chicago: $250,000 in funding for the facility and implementation of therapeutic support services within the Sunshine Initiative, an early-childhood program that addresses the needs of low-income children with emotional or behavioral difficulties.
• Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago: $200,000 in funding for the development of a comprehensive diabetic program aimed at minority populations who are disproportionately affected by the disease. Funding also includes the construction of three ophthalmology facilities with medical and eye equipment.
• Resurrection Health Care, Chicago: $400,000 in funding to replace inadequate and outdated analog mammography imaging equipment at the St. Mary's and Elizabeth Medical Center (SMEMC), a health care facility in the Humboldt Park neighborhood. Updated imaging equipment will help SMEMC patients, many of them underserved, in their battle against breast cancer. SMEMC is part of Resurrection Health Care, a non-profit organization consisting of hospitals, nursing homes, retirement communities, a surgery center, behavioral health services, medical office facilities, community clinics, a home health company and hospice services.
Department of Education
• Benedictine University, Lisle: $150,000 in funding to design, create, and implement open-source educational materials for use in introductory college courses at no cost to students.
An open textbook is an openly-licensed textbook offered online allowing users to read online, download, or print the book at no cost. Faculty will design and create an open textbook for an introductory course. Upon completion the book will be licensed under an open license, posted online, and made available to students.
• Blackburn College, Carlinville: $225,000 in funding for the construction of an addition to the college’s science facility and for the outfitting of that facility with instruments and technology.
• Brehm Preparatory School, Carbondale: $250,000 in funding to support the development of a database that will allow educators of learning disabled children to access and exchange information about practices and teaching methods. Brehm, a boarding school for students with complex learning disabilities, seeks to create a national database for learning disabilities education and research.
• Chicago Public Schools, Chicago: $300,000 in funding to provide professional development to upper elementary and middle school science teachers in the Chicago Public School system. This partnership between the Chicago Public Schools and the Museum of Science and Industry will support workshops to improve teachers' knowledge of science concepts, enhance classroom practice through hands-on science instruction, and incorporate science into classroom activities.
• Golden Apple Foundation, Statewide: $350,000 in funding to support a partnership between the Golden Apple Foundation and the Illinois Math and Science Academy to recruit and train math and science teachers. Participants in the program will agree to teach for five years in a needy Illinois school.
• Lincoln Land Community College, Springfield: $250,000 in funding for the HIRE Education pre-apprenticeship program at Lincoln Land Community College, designed to boost minority participation into local construction-related unions. The funding will also expand current programming into a comprehensive academy, purchase equipment and materials, and support training costs.
• Rockford College, Rockford: $300,000 in funding for technology upgrades, including the addition of fiber infrastructure, the modernization of library resources and the further equipment of science laboratories and classrooms. Durbin worked with Congressman Don Manzullo (R-IL) on this project.
• Saint Xavier University, Chicago: $750,000 in funding for the renovation of an outdated, undersized library on the campus of Saint Xavier. The library, built in 1952 and designed to serve only a few hundred students, today serves more than 5,300 undergraduate and graduate students.
• Southern Illinois University, Southern Illinois: $500,000 in funding to establish a regional nursing program at SIU's Carbondale campus. With the funds SIU will hire a regional director and secretarial help, implement a marketing and recruitment plan, and purchase sophisticated patient simulators for the nursing program's foundations course. Currently, the only baccalaureate in nursing program south of Bloomington, Illinois is at SIU's Edwardsville campus.
• University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign: $150,000 in funding to design, create, and implement open-source educational materials for use in introductory college courses at no cost to students. An open textbook is an openly-licensed textbook offered online allowing users to read online, download, or print the book at no cost. Faculty will design and create an open textbook for an introductory course. Upon completion the book will be licensed under an open license, posted online, and made available to students
Department of Labor
• Instituto del Progresso Latino, Chicago: $375,000 in funding to support an expansion of Carreras en Salud, a program established earlier this decade at the Instituto del Progresso Latino to help bridge limited-English speaking individuals into Certified Nursing Assistant and Licensed Practical Nursing positions. Instituto del Progreso Latino was established to meet the needs of Latino immigrants to learn English, find employment, accustom their children to the educational systems, and adjust to life in the United States.
Commerce, Justice and Science
Department of Justice
• Ceasefire at the University of Illinois, Chicago. $500,000 in funding for the Chicago Project for Violence Prevention to expand Ceasefire, an accelerated community-based prevention, intervention, treatment and advocacy initiative. The funding will support Ceasefire’s youth violence prevention efforts in Chicago.
• Chicago Jesuit Academy, Chicago. $400,000 in funding to augment the extended-day and extended-year programs of the Academy, which provide an alternative to the violence, drugs and gang activity in the surrounding community.
• City of Rock Island. $150,000 in funding to allow for the acquisition of equipment for the Rock Island Police, including an automated fingerprint identification system. Upgraded technology will allow the Rock Island Police to better cooperate with other Quad City law enforcement agencies.
• County of Peoria. $500,000 in funding to create a Mental Health Court to appropriately address the needs of mentally ill individuals in the judicial system. The establishment of such a court will allow the judicial system to adjudicate individuals with mental health issues who need prosecution and direct those needing service to the community’s mental health service providers.
• John Marshall Law School, Chicago. $350,000 in funding to support the Veterans Legal Support Center (VLSC) at the Law School. The purpose of VLSC is to assist veterans filing and processing VA benefit claims through its statewide network of 150 pro-bono attorneys and law students acting under the supervision of licensed attorneys.
• SGA Youth and Family Services, Chicago. $225,000 in funding to allow SGA to operate their Juvenile Justice Program in the Belmont-Cragin and Austin communities. The program provides services to discourage and rehabilitate at-risk youth, ages 9-19 years of age, in two Chicago schools so they will not become re-offenders.
• Safer Foundation, Chicago. $350,000 in funding to expand Safer’s community empowerment reentry program currently in operation in East Garfield Park. This program addresses both the transition needs of returning prisoners and their communities, thereby protecting communities from further crime and disruption and minimizing the cost of re-incarceration.
• Sheriff’s Office of Cook County. $300,000 in funding to allow the Sheriff’s Office to link mentally ill female offenders with service providers and provide case management to facilitate community re-entry and family reunification services.
• YWCA Lake County, Minority Family Strengthening Initiative. $375,000 in funding to reduce juvenile crime through age appropriate programming to at-risk youth and outreach to mothers and pregnant women whose children are at risk for juvenile crime.
• YWCA McLean County, Bloomington. $300,000 in funding to expand the YWCA’s Violence Prevention and Intervention Initiative. Activities would include an increased presence within first responder institutions, increased services to marginalized populations, and additional training and opportunities for racial justice work within the antiviolence framework.
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