051121HAO00241r

PARK FOREST – After hearing from residents who felt helpless when Rich East High School closed their doors in 2020, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) sponsored a new law to prevent neighborhood schools from closing without public input.

“The closure of Rich East High School left many households angry because the decision left residents’ voices unheard, even though it affected their kids and the communities they live in,” Joyce said. “With this new law, residents will have the chance to offer feedback on decisions that would impact the lives of students, families and educators.”

In 2019, District 227 was faced with the decision to close one or more of their three schools due to a lack of funding, declining enrollment and aging facilities. The Rich Township High School District in Cook County voted to close Rich East High School, which served Matteson, Park Forest, Olympia Fields, Chicago Heights and Richton Park residents. This decision forced these students to move to either Rich Central or Rich South High Schools.

Joyce understood that many people in the community were upset by the closure and that Rich East families felt left out of the decision-making process, motivating him to introduce legislation to change the way school boards handle such decisions.

Read more: New Joyce law makes residents’ voices heard on neighborhood school closures

Category: Press Releases

broadband 071921KANKAKEE – In an effort to bring high-quality broadband to residents, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is urging local organizations to apply for the second round of state broadband grant funding.

“Reliable internet access is more important than ever as people continue to work remotely and participate in summer classes online,” Joyce said. “I’m encouraging local organizations to apply for broadband funding as we work to expand digital access in our communities.”

The Office of Broadband Regional Engagement for Adoption + Digital Equity (READY) program is designed to increase access, adoption and use of high-speed internet access through the lens of digital equity and inclusion. To further these efforts across all ten economic development regions of the state, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Broadband is launching the next READY notice of funding opportunity, with another $250,000 in grants now available.

The Broadband READY program is part of a comprehensive Digital Equity Package to boost broadband capacity while addressing existing broadband equity gaps. The READY program and other investments to enhance community planning and equitable implementation will complement the Connect Illinois program, a $400 million plan to deliver universal access to high-speed internet statewide.

Read more: Joyce encourages local groups to apply for broadband funding

Category: Press Releases

SummerReading

PARK FOREST— To encourage young people to continue learning this summer, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is encouraging kids to participate in his Summer Book Club for children and young people who live in the 40th State Senate District.

“The purpose of this reading club is to inspire our youth to read during the summer when school is out,” Joyce said. “This book club also offers a completion incentive, giving kids something to work toward during the summer months.”

The Summer Book Club requires students to read eight books of their choice during the summer break, record the names of the books on a form and return the form to Joyce’s office by Aug. 11. Participants will receive a gift card and certificate from Senator Joyce. 

“This Summer Book Club makes reading fun and promotes lifelong learning,” Joyce said. “I am encouraging young readers to set aside 10-15 minutes a day to read and make it a part of their summer routine.”

To receive a book club form, visit SenatorPatrickJoyce.com to download and print the form, or call Joyce’s office at 708-756-0882 to request a copy by mail.

Joyce urges interested residents to call his office with any additional questions.

Category: Press Releases

Hayli and Sen. JoyceKANKAKEE – A measure sponsored by State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) to prevent children’s lemonade stands from being shut down for not having a permit was signed into law Friday by Gov. JB Pritzker. 

This new law was inspired by 12-year-old Hayli Martinez, whose lemonade stand in Kankakee was flagged by local officials and shut down.

“Opening a lemonade stand can teach kids about entrepreneurship and responsibility, so it’s really a great opportunity for them to learn while making some extra money,” Joyce said. “This new law will allow our young entrepreneurs to dream big without any hurdles.”

Under this measure, the Illinois Department of Public Health, a local health department or public health district cannot regulate the sale of lemonade or nonalcoholic drinks or mixed beverages by a person under age 16. The law also prevents authorities from requiring a permit for children to sell lemonade on private properties or in a public park.

Senate Bill 119 was signed into law on Friday and takes effect Jan. 1, 2022.

Category: Press Releases

Small Business Tour

Cooling Centers

COVID19 Updates

eNewsletter Signup
  1. First Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  2. Last Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  3. Your Email(*)
    Please let us know your email address.

Follow Sen. Joyce

facebooktwitter

 

Contact Me

Springfield Office:
118 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
217.782.7419

District Office:
270 Main St.
Park Forest, IL 60466
708.756.0882