JoyceSPRINGFIELD – A comprehensive proposal by State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) aimed at eliminating Illinois’ teacher shortage was signed into law Friday.

“This new law offers additional strategies to address the ongoing teacher shortage,” Joyce said. “I have supported a host of measures throughout the last three years that have led to the teacher workforce in Illinois to continue to grow year-over-year.”

Joyce’s initiative will increase the amount of days substitute teachers can stay in the classroom from 90 days to 120. This law helps keep long-term substitute teachers in the same classroom, instead of having to teach lessons they are less familiar with after 90 days. This also prevents subs from having to move around to a different school district after 90 days, and allows for comfortability and familiarity with students.

This Joyce initiative combined with other strategies passed in previous years, which include raising the minimum wage for teachers to $40,000 per year and increasing funding for teacher preparation programs, aim to alleviate the teacher shortage felt across the nation.

“In order to address the teacher shortage, we need to keep student’s needs in mind,” Joyce said. “This law will allows substitutes to stay in the same classroom for longer, giving students more consistency.”

The legislation – Senate Bill 3893 – was signed into law Friday and takes effect immediately.

Category: Press Releases

JOyce Broadband

SPRINGFIELD A measure introduced by State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) to increase Illinois’ ability to capture federal funding for broadband under the federal Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act was signed into law on Tuesday.

“Bringing access to internet to every citizen in Illinois is crucial,” Joyce said. “This initiative helps Illinois capture up to $1.6 billion in federal dollars to expand broadband services.”

The intent of this legislation is to bring more legislative oversight and allow for public input on where best to allocate broadband funding. Joyce put forth the proposal earlier in session, which was then put in the final BIMP bill.

“Striking a balance in closing the digital divide between both unserved and underserved areas will give our children access to more opportunities and put them on a path for success,” Joyce said.

House Bill 4700 is effective immediately.

Category: News

JOYCESOUTH WILMINGTON – The South Wilmington Volunteer Fire Department will receive $26,000 in state funding for new equipment, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) announced Thursday.

“Local fire departments are often times underfunded and have to raise money on their own,” Joyce said. “These grants will help South Wilmington purchase lifesaving equipment, so they can better respond to emergencies in our community.” 

South Wilmington Volunteer Fire Department has been awarded $26,000 through the Small Equipment Grant Program.  

The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal awarded the grant to give Illinois first responders the opportunity to replace or upgrade aging equipment they may otherwise not be able to purchase.

“We are using the small equipment grant funds for three portable radios which enhance our line of communication with dispatch and other agencies,” said South Wilmington Fire Chief Monti Serena.

The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal awarded a total of $2.5 million to 104 fire departments, districts and EMS providers across the state.

Category: News

Senator Patrick JoyceSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) passed a measure in the Illinois Senate on Wednesday that incentivizes the use of biodiesel.

“Incentivizing use of higher biodiesel blends helps the Illinois economy by increasing soybean demand while supporting a cleaner-burning fuel for the environment” Joyce said. “Putting Illinois on a path towards more biodiesel usage is good for the environment, Illinois farmers and our economy.”

Under current law, diesel blends of over 10% biodiesel (B11) are exempt from all sales taxes until Dec. 31, 2023. Joyce passed Senate Bill 1146, which would exempt proceeds of sales of biodiesel and renewable diesel from sales tax.

This legislation increases the threshold that biodiesel blend levels need to be above in order to qualify for the incentive to B20 by April 1, 2026. The qualifying blend levels will gradually increase to B14 in 2024 and B17 in 2025 before reaching B20 in 2026.

“This legislation will not only help Illinois fight the effects of climate change, but also support the over 43,000 soybean producers of our great state,” said Steve Pitstick, Chairperson of the Illinois Soybean Association.

Senate Bill 1146 passed the full Senate and awaits further consideration in the House.

Category: Press Releases

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