Senate Appropriations Committee Advances Spending Bills With Illinois Priorities Secured By Durbin, Duckworth

CHICAGO – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today announced that the Senate Appropriations Committee advanced three Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations bills for Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies; Financial Services and General Government; and Legislative Branch.  Durbin and Duckworth worked to secure various priorities for Illinois in these appropriations bills, both through Congressionally Directed Spending requests and through the programmatic appropriations process. 

“These bills make critical investments in Illinois.  I’m glad the Senate Appropriations Committee was able to come together on a bipartisan basis to advance these bills, which will benefit families, communities, and the economy in Illinois,” Durbin said.  “Senators and Representatives know their states and districts better than federal agency personnel in Washington, and I’m pleased we can deliver direct results through Congressionally Directed Spending.  I will continue to work with my colleagues to see these priorities across the finish line.” 

“Our state and our nation are stronger when we invest in our communities and families—and that’s what these bipartisan funding bills do,” Duckworth said. “I’m proud I was able to help secure critical support for projects all throughout our state that help keep our communities safe and support our working families.”  

These funding bills include the following Illinois priorities secured by Congressionally Directed Spending requests:


Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies  


  • Technology upgrades, East St. Louis: $1,446,000 to the City of East St. Louis to help fund the installation of Q-Star Technology FlashCams and Smart LED lights on Summit Avenue between 52nd and 59th Street. This technology will be placed in an illegal dumping hotspot area in East St. Louis.


  • Electrical power initiative, Peoria: $950,000 to Bradley University to acquire equipment to conduct research to develop electrification standards for reliable power production.  This project also will develop standards based on sound economic analysis to ensure industry produces energy systems to meet these standards. 


  • Equipment and technology upgrades, Matteson: $1,000,000 to the SouthCom Combined Dispatch Center for equipment and technology upgrades including police body cameras, squad car enhancements, police protective equipment, and the installation of emergency dispatch consoles. 


  • First responders mental health initiative, Rosemont: $910,000 to the McDermott Center to develop and implement trauma-informed training for first responders to address the PTSD derived from law enforcement situations as a means to combat burnout, promote workforce retention, and enhance the well-being of law enforcement professionals.  
  • Gun violence reduction, Peoria: $564,000 to Peoria County to deploy the Cure Violence model, which is an evidence-based strategy for reducing gun violence among individuals most at risk for violence.


  • Offshore seismic mapping, Chicago$550,000 to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to produce detailed geologic maps of the bottom of Lake Michigan in the Chicago offshore area.  


  • Semiconductor initiative, Romeoville: $900,000 to Lewis University to purchase equipment to promote the modernization of semiconductor manufacturing processes through research into the development of new production methods and technologies.


  • Technology upgrades, Rockford$825,000 to Winnebago County to purchase equipment for the Winnebago County Regional Police Training Center to provide a real-world, educational experience to law enforcement officers in a controlled, convenient location. 


  • Technology upgrades, Springfield: $300,000 to the City of Springfield Police Department for software upgrades that would allow cross communication between body cameras, dispatch, shot spotter, computers, and other technologies in order to provide faster response times by officers. 


Financial Services and General Government  


  • Clean technology initiative, Chicago: $475,000 to Evergreen Climate Innovations to support Illinois-based clean technology startups through business development training, professional mentorship, market strategies, and networking opportunities.  


  • Digitization and preservation initiative, Naperville$800,000 to the Naperville Heritage Society to preserve and digitize archives, artifacts, and records that demonstrate the diverse history and inhabitants of Naperville and the State of Illinois.  


  • Manufacturing supply chain initiative, Chicago: $675,000 to mHUB, a manufacturing innovation center, to develop a regional supply chain network to connect domestic suppliers and contract manufacturers with hard-tech entrepreneurs through technical assistance and network development. 


  • Photographic digitization initiative, Bloomington: $550,000 to the McLean County Historical Society to continue the digitization of 1.5 million photographic negatives of The Pantagraph.  
  • Entrepreneurship training, Illinois: $500,000 to the Women’s Business Development Center to support business entrepreneurship training for childcare providers throughout Illinois in an effort to boost the number of affordable childcare providers.


These funding bills include additional Illinois priorities through the programmatic appropriations process:


Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies  


  • Coastal Zone Management Grants: $81.5 million to support grants to states with approved coastal zone management plans for the protection, restoration, and enhancement of coastal zone areas, including those in the Great Lakes region. 


  • Economic Development Assistance Programs: $396 million to provide grants to states, localities, non-profit organizations, and others to create jobs in economically challenged areas. 


  • National Weather Service (NWS), Science & Technology Integration: $179 million for NWS to integrate new science and technology into its operations to provide improved weather forecast guidance that empowers emergency managers, first responders, government officials, businesses, and the public to make faster, smarter decisions to save lives and protect livelihoods.


  • Regional Climate Centers: $6.1 million to support and expand regional climate services, including investing in software, design, and staffing for data entry and analysis to support NOAA’s research, observation, and modeling science. 


  • Scientific and Technical Research and Services: $1.02 billion to support basic scientific research that increases U.S. industrial and technological competitiveness, including advanced computing and manufacturing innovations. 


  • Prosecutor and Public Defender Student Loan Repayment: $6 million to provide student loan repayment assistance for state and local prosecutors and public defenders pursuant to Durbin’s John R. Justice Prosecutors and Defenders Incentive Act.


  • Bureau of Prisons: $8.477 billion for the administration, operation, and maintenance of federal correctional institutions and $209 million for buildings and facilities.


  • First Step Act$409.5 million to enable the Department of Justice and Bureau of Prisons to fully and expeditiously implement the First Step Act, including increasing residential reentry center capacity; increasing availability of medication-assisted drug treatment (Medications for Opioid Use Disorder, or MOUD); creating and maintaining programming within BOP facilities (including mental health, vocational, educational, and substance abuse programming); improving, implementing, reviewing, validating, and maintaining the risk and needs assessment system; and evaluating and providing evidence-based recidivism reduction programs and productive activities.  


  • Community Violence Intervention Initiative: $50 million to provide grants to support evidence-based community violence intervention programs.


  • Project Safe Neighborhoods Trauma-informed Care: $20 million to provide grants to support evidence-based, data-driven, trauma-informed, and focused intervention, deterrence, and prevention initiatives aimed at reducing violence.  


  • Children Exposed to Violence: $10 million to provide grants to develop innovative training, resources, and awareness efforts; support communities in developing strategic plans and policies to address children’s exposure to violence as victims and as witnesses; and provide trauma-informed services.


  • Civil Rights Investigations: $3.5 million for grants to State and local law enforcement agencies for the expenses associated with the investigation and prosecution of criminal offenses involving civil rights.  


  • Combating Hate Crimes: $20 million for grants to State, local, and Tribal law enforcement to conduct outreach and training on hate crimes and to investigate and prosecute hate crimes; $10 million for grants intended in part to prevent hate crimes through conflict resolution and community empowerment and education; and $10 million for programs combating hate crimes.


  • Community Relations Service: $25.5 million to enable Community Relations Services to fulfill its role as a peacemaker for community conflicts and tensions arising from differences of race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, and disability.


  • Missing & Exploited Children Programs: $108 million to support law enforcement agencies and other national organizations that report and investigate missing children cases and also investigate those who sexually exploit children online and in person.


  • State Marijuana Laws: The bill includes a provision that prohibits DOJ from preventing states from implementing their own laws authorizing the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of marijuana.


  • Legal Orientation Program (LOP): $30 million to provide basic legal information for individuals in immigration detention, increasing efficiency in immigration courts and reducing taxpayer costs related to immigration detention.   


  • Human Rights Crimes/Violations: Report language was continued from previous years supporting continued funding for DOJ and FBI to investigate and prosecute human rights violations.  


  • NASA Science Directorate: $7.34 billion to fund the innovative work of more than 10,000 scientists at universities, industry, and government laboratories in Illinois and across the United States through competitive research grants and mission-critical technology development and support. 


  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Engagement: $143.5 million to support several key programs, including the Minority University Research and Education Project; Space Grant, which funds education and research projects through a national network of university-based consortia; and Next Gen STEM, which provides competitive awards for informal educational institutions and sustains a national network of museums and science centers.


  • Space Technology: $1.118 million to fund space technology research and development, including new innovative propulsion systems to explore deep space and compete with increasingly aggressive Chinese space endeavors. 


  • Basic Science Research: $9.5 billion to fund basic science research at the National Science Foundation to promote innovation, ensure America’s competitiveness in the global economy, and help train a highly skilled and diverse scientific and technical workforce.


  • High Performance Computing: Report language included regarding the need for timely and significant investments in high-performance computing at the National Science Foundation, especially as it relates to artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and user access to advanced computing across the United States. 


Financial Services and General Government  


  • Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund: $324 million to promote access to capital and local economic growth in low-income urban and rural communities across the nation. 


  • Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN): $190 million to safeguard the financial system from illicit use and combat money laundering.


  • Money laundering: report language was included urging the IRS to increase the number of special agents in the Criminal Investigations unit responsible for investigating money laundering, violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, and criminal violations of the tax code.


  • Economic sanctions: report language was included regarding the enforcement of economic and trade sanctions consistent with national security and foreign policy goals, particularly the implementation of sanctions and divestment measures applicable to Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Burma (Myanmar), Belarus, and designated rebel groups operating in and around the Democratic Republic of Congo.


  • Levinson Actreport language was included directing the Departments of Treasury and State to fully enact the Robert A. Levinson Hostage Recovery and Hostage Taking Accountability Act, passed as part of the FY21 Omnibus.  The act helps U.S. families whose loved ones have been taken hostage from a foreign power. 


  • Defender Services: The bill funds Defender Services at $1.383 billion.


  • Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)$365 million to foster open, transparent, competitive, and financially sound markets; ensure market integrity; and protect market participants from fraud, exploitation, and abusive practices.


  • Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC): $152.5 million to protect American consumers from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from thousands of consumer products used every day.  


  • Election Assistance Commission: $28 million, which includes costs for administering and auditing election security and administration grants, improving election accessibility, and advancing election security efforts.  The bill also includes $75 million for election security grants. 


  • Federal fleet: report language was included urging incorporation of zero emission vehicles into the federal fleet via recommendations to the GSA’s procurement model to accurately reflect environmental and public health savings of such vehicles.
  • Conflict minerals: report language was included regarding conflict minerals and supply chain due diligence to continue both labeling and reporting requirements to yield positive effects on the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 
  • Investor Advisory Committee: report language was included regarding the selection of the Investor Advisory Committee to ensure the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) hears from all investors, especially retail investors.


  • Mandatory arbitration: report language was included directing the SEC to maintain its longstanding position that mandatory arbitration clauses violate the antiwaiver provisions of securities laws. 


  • Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Microloan Program: $6 million for the Microloan Program and $41 million for microloan technical assistance.


  • SBA’s State Trade and Export Program (STEP): $20 million to provide a credit subsidy for the direct microloan program. 

Legislative Branch

  • Teaching with Primary Sources: $10 million for the Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program administered by the Library of Congress, which Durbin worked to authorize in 2005.