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KANKAKEE – To help expand and improve public transportation, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) announced more than $262,000 in state grants for Kankakee and Grundy Counties Friday.

“Public transportation is always worth improving, because it’s something that serves everyone in our community,” said Joyce. “It’s important that we address the deficiencies in our system so that we can keep up with the needs of our residents.”

Grant funds in Grundy County will be used to replace three medium-duty buses that are beyond their useful life. In Kankakee County, grant funds will be used to replace mobile radios in the county’s fleet to ensure the safest and most efficient provision of services in the area. In addition, the funds will be put towards a new transit vehicle.

This is the first of three grant cycles for mass transit projects through the Rebuild Illinois plan, with the next two rounds set to be distributed in 2021 and 2023.

“Transit in our downstate communities can be a lifeline for getting to work or school, a doctor’s appointment or a trip to the grocery store,” said Acting Transportation Secretary Omer Osman said. “This funding through Rebuild Illinois means these providers finally will have the resources they need to improve service in communities that have not seen this type of investment for many years.”

A complete list of local providers and awards can be viewed at

Category: Press Releases

student tech 071520PARK FOREST – The Illinois State Board of Education has launched a new text program to help parents prepare young learners for school, and State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is encouraging parents to enroll.

“There’s no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused parents pandemic stress, as they are balancing working from home and homeschooling their children,” Joyce said. “To help working parents cope, this program will encourage learning and ensure well-being for children during this crisis and beyond.”

The Chat2Learn program — spearheaded by ISBE and the Behavioral Insights and Parenting (BIP) Lab — will engage up to 50,000 parents and caregivers of preschool-aged children in Illinois Preschool for All and Preschool for All Expansion programs. Program administrators are encouraged to sign parents up on their behalf. However, parent enrollment will open at a later date.

The program provides parents with conversation prompts to help future students build literacy, mathematics and social-emotional skills for kindergarten readiness. The messages are based on research evidence collected by the BIP Lab.

For example, parents may receive prompts like: "Part of being a parent is getting to know your child better every day. Ask your child, 'If you had a day to do whatever you wanted, what would you do?'"

Text messages begin on Dec. 6 and will continue through June 30, 2021.

For more information, visit

Category: News

DeLuca Joyce SOS Event

Category: Events

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PARK FOREST – With the holidays inching closer and businesses still struggling to stay afloat amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is urging residents to shop locally throughout the holiday season this year.

“Local businesses are the heart of our community, and the COVID-19 pandemic has put a major strain on them,” Joyce said. “As we continue the fight against COVID-19, we cannot leave these businesses behind. I encourage residents to support our small business community however they can to help them weather this storm.”    

As people begin their holiday shopping, Joyce is reminding residents that supporting small doesn’t just mean shopping at brick-and-mortar stores. Residents can support small businesses through online sales, ordering carryout from a locally owned restaurant or buying a gift card for a friend.

Additionally, if money is tight due to the financial concerns relating to the pandemic, people can still support local businesses by following their social media, recommending them to friends and leaving positive reviews.

“Buying local is an investment in our community,” Joyce said. “Take the initiative to shop local whenever possible to help our community recover.” 

Joyce would also like to remind struggling small businesses that the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has launched the second round of the Business Interruption Grant program, which will distribute $220 million to small businesses hit hardest by the ongoing pandemic, including movie theaters, event venues, hotels and more. Learn more and apply here.

Category: Press Releases

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