pexels photo 1370704BRADLEY – The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity awarded grants to 13 Illinois communities to invest in housing improvement projects, and State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is pleased to see the Village of Bradley selected to receive $550,000.

“Through the Housing Rehabilitation Grants program, Illinois is working to provide assistance to residents here in the Village of Bradley and to the most vulnerable homeowners across our state,” said Joyce. “This program prioritizes projects that have fallen into a state of disrepair and provides an opportunity to restore properties to their maximum potential. Seeing that these projects are completed doesn’t just benefit the homeowner, but the entire community.”

Housing rehabilitation grants are designed to assist low- to moderate-income homeowners with improvements to ensure safe and sanitary living conditions. The funds can be used for a range of projects, including structural work, electrical, plumbing, new appliances, flooring, ADA and accessibility accommodations, and more. Homeowners work through their local unit of government to apply for the grant, and up to $50,000 may be spent on each home.

“DCEO is committed to addressing the most urgent economic development needs facing our communities – including helping low-income Illinois residents have and maintain a safe place to live,” said DCEO Acting Director Sylvia Garcia. “Through the Housing Rehabilitation program, we are leveraging federal dollars to fund projects that will not only bring homes up to code but will stabilize neighborhoods and improve quality of life for communities across the state.”
Joyce reminds communities that are interested in taking advantage of the program to apply in the next round of funding. Find more information on the program here.

Category: News


SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) advanced a measure through the Senate Tourism and Hospitality Committee Thursday to prevent children’s lemonade stands from being shut down for not having a permit.

“This bill is inspired by 12-year-old Hayli Martinez, whose lemonade stand in Kankakee was flagged by local officials and shut down,” Joyce said. “I introduced this legislation last year after hearing Hayli’s story from a concerned constituent. Unfortunately, the bill lost momentum due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but we are on track to pass Hayli’s Law this spring.” 

Under this bill, the Illinois Department of Public Health, a local health department or public health district may not regulate the sale of lemonade or non-alcoholic drinks or mixed beverages by a person under the age of 16 years. This bill would also prevent authorities from requiring a permit for children to sell lemonade on private properties or in a public park.

Senate Bill 119 cleared committee 7-0. 

Category: Press Releases

istockphoto 1133834174 612x612February 21-27 is Grain Bin Safety Week

KANKAKEE – Senate Agriculture Chairman Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is joining the Illinois Department of Agriculture in reminding farmers and farm workers to be cautious when working in and around grain bins.

“This week is dedicated to raising awareness of hazards and safe work practices to reduce the number of accidents associated with grain handling and storage,” Joyce said. “I urge farmers to slow down and be safe to prevent a tragedy.”

Joyce says moving grain acts like quicksand and a worker standing on moving grain can be trapped within just five seconds and completely covered in grain in less than half a minute.

Three of the most common scenarios leading to grain entrapment include:

  • A worker stands on moving or flowing grain, typically caused by an auger running or grain being moved out of the bin by gravity.
  • A worker stands on or below a grain bridging situation. Bridging happens when damp grain clumps together, creating an empty space beneath the grain as it is unloaded. A worker above or below this bridge of grain is at risk should the bridge collapse.
  • A worker stands next to an accumulated pile of grain on the side of the bin and attempts to dislodge it. It can collapse onto the worker.

While workers should avoid entering grain bins if possible, safety measures can greatly diminish the risk if they must enter. Workers entering a grain bin wear a body harness attached to a lifeline, and an observer should be stationed outside the bin to track the worker and call for help if something goes wrong.

Joyce suggests farm workers attend regular safety trainings as a reminder to utilize best practices while working in and around grain bins. Online training resources are also available from the Grain and Feed Association of Illinois, the Grain and Safety Council, and the University of Illinois Extension.

Category: Press Releases

istockphoto 521975360 612x612

CHICAGO HEIGHTS – As carjackings continue to rise across the south suburbs, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) joined religious and community leaders at a press conference Friday to gather community input to find a solution for the escalating problem.

Joyce and other local elected officials stood with the Community Action Network, Chicago Heights Chief of Police Thomas Rogers, and clergy members from the International Pentecostal Assembly Ecumenical at the press conference to advocate for the establishment of a new alert system that will focus on carjacking safety.

“I was first approached by Chief Apostle McCoy several weeks ago, who explained that one of his bishops, Dr. Billy Drain, had an idea that could help bring an end to this growing epidemic affecting our communities,” Joyce said. 

Bishop Drain’s idea involves the creation of an early warning system like the AMBER Alert System, which he has named the DWAIN Alert System in memory of former Chicago firefighter Lieutenant Dwain Williams, who was killed during a carjacking in December of 2020. Bishop Drain hopes an alert system would encourage community members to look out for their friends and neighbors, helping law enforcement locate perpetrators and secure justice for victims. 

“I am ready to lend my full support to these efforts,” Joyce said. “If a door needs to be opened for a conversation, if a state agency needs to be more involved in youth development through activities, mentoring, or internships, I will do my best to help.”

Joyce intends to work with these advocates and continue discussing possible methods to decrease the incidence of carjackings, including a tip hotline that community members can call to help law enforcement gather information on carjackings, as well as what infrastructure it would take to establish Bishop Drain’s proposed DWAIN Alert System. 

Category: Press Releases

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Springfield Office:
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Springfield, IL 62706

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Kankakee, IL 60901

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