Road constructionKANKAKEE – State Senator Patrick Joyce joined the Illinois Department of Transportation in announcing funds from the Illinois Competitive Freight Program that will improve the movement of freight throughout the state, while creating jobs and economic opportunity, and enhancing safety and local quality of life. Amongst the projects is the reconstruction of the interchange at Interstate 57 and Illinois 17 in Kankakee.

“This has been a long time coming. State Representative Jackie Haas and I have been pushing to get this interchange rebuilt for quite some time,” said Joyce (D-Essex). “It’s great to finally see a plan in place to tackle this area. This is great for better freight mobility, but it’s also a win for Kankakee’s local economy.”

Every year, 1.6 billion tons valued at $2.5 trillion of freight flows in and out of the state, making Illinois one of the top three states for freight activity. Nearly $200 million in funds among 22 projects that are high traffic areas for freight mobility were announced last week, including the reconstruction of the interchange in Kankakee.

The interchange reconstruction project is estimated to cost around $95 million and will take 2-3 years for completion, with construction starting around 2027. Through the Illinois Competitive Freight program, this project will receive $40 million to assist with costs.

“This is truly a big deal. We’re opening up the door for more efficient freight transportation, while expanding economic growth in the area,” said Joyce. “It is a much needed upgrade and it’s going to have a lot of positive impact on our state.”

For more information about the Illinois Competitive Freight Program and to see a complete list of projects and awards, click here.

Category: Press Releases

nuclear scaled e1632297639787SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Patrick Joyce advocated for Senate Bill 76 last Thursday, which was an initiative from State Senator Sue Rezin (R-Morris) that enables the state to explore new clean energy options and create jobs in the nuclear industry.

“It’s our job to ensure Illinois remains a leader in clean energy production,” said Joyce (D-Essex). “By lifting the moratorium, we can explore new nuclear technology, support job creation and ensure that our state has more sustainable energy sources.”

Under current law, there is a nuclear moratorium in place that prohibits any construction of a new nuclear plant in Illinois and prohibits the Illinois Commerce Commission from issuing a certificate of public and convenience and necessity for a new nuclear facility. Senate Bill 76 would appeal the moratorium on new nuclear facilities in Illinois.

“My legislation is a bipartisan, pro-jobs bill that will help ensure that Illinois is able to effectively compete with other states who are beginning to understand the pivotal role nuclear energy can play in relieving growing energy grid reliability and resiliency pressures,” said Rezin.

“I’m here to make Illinois stay relevant, to make Illinois stay at the table, and with the moratorium in place, we aren’t even in the conversation,” said Joyce. “Reliability and affordability is something we are going to be dealing with for years to come. I want to thank Senator Rezin for this bill.”

Senate Bill 76 passed the Senate with a 39-13 bipartisan vote and now moves other to the House for further action.

Category: Press Releases

JoyceSB16111SPRINGFIELD – To diminish the volunteer firefighter shortage Illinois is currently facing, State Senator Patrick Joyce advanced a plan out of the Senate Friday to allow for more people to complete firefighter training.

“The number of volunteer firefighters has been declining for almost a decade,” said Joyce (D-Essex). “This opportunity would give people the chance to get proper firefighter training to become an experienced volunteer in their communities.”

Fire departments across the state have faced a shortage of new recruits and volunteer firefighters in recent years. Senate Bill 1611 would combat these shortages to give people the opportunity to undergo firefighter training courses.

The measure would create the Firefighter Training Leave of Absence Act, which would provide state employees leave from their job to attend firefighter training.

“From administering first aid to maintaining equipment to responding to calls, volunteer firefighters help out our communities tremendously,” said Joyce. “It’s crucial that we are taking action to address this shortage to ensure fire departments have enough people and resources to continue protecting our community.”

Senate Bill 1611 cleared the Senate and will advance to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

KRSPKANKAKEE - To help job seekers find employment, State Senator Patrick Joyce is encouraging people to apply for seasonal conservation work at Kankakee River State Park in Bourbonnais.

“As the weather is warming up, we see a need for more workers in our state parks,” said Joyce (D-Essex). “This is a great opportunity for local residents or college students to take advantage of temporary work, while working in a beautiful natural environment.”

Conservation workers perform routine maintenance and custodial duties, such as mowing, landscaping, painting, cleaning, loading and unloading vehicles, cutting firewood and more. Other responsibilities include assisting in preparing locations for hunting and fishing, preparing sites for programs, assisting in the care of cover crops and food plots, maintaining tools and equipment, and performing basic vehicle maintenance.

Kankakee River State Park is surrounded by both sides of the Kankakee River that sits six miles northwest of Kankakee, consisting of approximately 4,000 acres. Illinois Route 102 lies north of the park, and Route 113 frames the south side of the park. More information about Kankakee River State Park can be found here.

“These are excellent summer jobs for people who enjoy being outdoors and are excited to help visitors enjoy Illinois’ beautiful state parks and historic sites,” said Paula Martel, director of IDNR’s Office of Land Management. “Seasonal workers gain valuable professional experience and a unique understanding of what it takes to operate these sites.”

To learn more about the positions, qualifications, deadline for applications, and instructions for applying, visit

Category: Press Releases

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