WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) celebrated the passage of the final government spending bill, which included a record $800 billion in non-defense funding to invest in and aid communities like the First District and over $23 million in Community Project Funding for 14 projects to address pressing needs in the First District.
“I am overjoyed with the passage of the Appropriations Omnibus, as this means that Illinois’ First Congressional District will receive crucial funding that will expand opportunities and profoundly enrich the district in the areas of education, infrastructure, health care, public health, and culture,” Rep. Rush said. “These investments will help advance some of the most vulnerable and underserved people in my district.I look forward to President Joe Biden signing this legislation into law.”
Rep. Rush championed funding for 14 projects that will directly benefit Illinois’s First District residents. These include:
- $4,000,000 to Antioch Haven Homes Foundation Ltd to fund Build Antioch, a program to repair and renovate the education building connected to the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church. Earlier this year a fire destroyed the main sanctuary of the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church and the attached education building. The education building was used to provide services such as job training, tutorial programs, exercise classes, health fairs, basketball, financial literacy programs, and food giveaways.
- $3,888,000 to Green Era Renewable Energy & Urban Farm Campus to support the Green Era Anaerobic Digester. The Green Era Renewable Energy and Urban Farm Campus is transforming nine acres of brownfield in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood into a first-of-its-kind vibrant hub for organics recycling, green energy and jobs, fresh produce, small business incubation, educational programming, and community green space.
- $3,452,972 to Village of Manhattan, going towards its Well 7 Improvements and Radium Reduction Treatment Project. The project will make improvements to the Village’s Well 7 to increase water pumping capacity and provide treatment to remove Radium from the well’s water to enhance the water system’s operational resiliency and to provide a safe and dependable supply of water.
- $2,000,000 to Beloved Community Family Wellness Center for support a building expansion to allow the facility to increase access to healthcare. The project will provide for the construction of a dental clinic, five additional exam rooms, a nutrition/wellness program, and behavioral health services. This expansion will allow BCFWC to serve 1,200 new patients.
- $2,000,000 to the Illinois Institute of Technology to fund capital improvements and renovations necessary to establish a “Bronzeville Opportunity Engine” on Illinois Tech’s campus. Once completed, the Opportunity Engine will include approximately 16,000 square feet of renovated space dedicated to community workforce development, small business and entrepreneurship education, startup incubation and pre-collegiate programming.
- $2,000,000 to Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) to fund the Englewood Racine Green Line Station Feasibility Study. The project will conduct detailed planning and conceptual design studies to determine how a new station could be constructed to meet community needs, accessibility requirements, and historic considerations. This request would fund the next step in understanding the cost of transit investment at the Racine Green Line Station and would ultimately lead to greater mobility options for residents of the neighborhood.
- $1,600,000 to Chicago State University to update outdated technology in the university’s communications, media and theater program. The upgrade will allow Black and Latino students on the South Side of Chicago who seek an affordable media education to gain access to the booming media job market by training on the same educational equipment as Illinois students at predominantly white private universities in the area.
- $ 1,500,000 to Will County to widen Laraway Road, between U.S. 52 and to the east of the Cedar Road intersections, to ease traffic and safety concerns.
- $1,064,000 to Village of Midlothian to replace a deficient and leaky segment of a water transmission main that has been forced to remain closed. The segment of water main is carried beneath METRA railroad facilities and Midlothian Creek and its poor condition and closure causes unacceptable water service levels for homes in the southeast section of the Village during emergency events.
- $500,000 to Chicago Public Schools, bolstering their arts programs by investing in supplies and equipment. The schools selected needed extra investments to meet the district’s goal of prioritizing arts in every school citywide.
- $500,000 to the National Museum of Gospel Music to support a multi-phase, adaptive reuse construction project sited for Pilgrim Baptist Church, a local and national landmark. This project seeks to preserve and honor Pilgrim’s historical and cultural impact by developing the first major institution in the United States dedicated to the legacy and influence of gospel music.
- $445,000 to the Illinois College of Optometry to secure additional instrumentation required for the evaluation and management of complex glaucoma patients in the Illinois College of Optometry Glaucoma Services. The funding will also go towards patient education technology that will enhance patient understanding of their disease and improve compliance with their treatment plan.
- $250,000 to Lee High School for a parent engagement center, which includes funding for equipment and technology.
- $175,000 to Bright Star Community Outreach, enabling workforce enrichment. Bright Star Community Outreach (BSCO), in partnership with NCAT (National Center for Arts and Technology) will provide comprehensive and transformative programming in workforce development to end the cycle of poverty for its participants.
The twelve-bill government funding package will create good-paying American jobs, grow opportunity for the middle class and small businesses, and provide a lifeline for working families.
The government funding package includes the following priorities that Rep. Rush fought for:
- $154 billion for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), $6 billion for SNAP supplemental program for women, infants, and children, and $29 billion for child nutrition programs to ensure that no resident of the 1st District goes hungry.
- $4 billion for the Low Income Heating Assistance Program, to help Chicago residents warm their homes affordably despite high fuel prices caused by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
- $1.1 billion for safe and clean drinking water, an additional $25 million for removing lead from drinking water, and an additional $31 million for testing for and removing lead from school drinking water to ensure that water is safe for all Americans to drink. This comes in addition to the $27 billion for safe and clean drinking water and lead service line replacement that Rush pushed for in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
- $388 million to create over 21,000 affordable housing units nationwide for low-income families, survivors of domestic violence, veterans, the elderly, and the disabled.
- $34 million for the Department of Energy’s Office of Economic Impact and Diversity, which Rush has long championed in his role of Chair of the Energy Subcommittee on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Taken together, the funding for Illinois’s First District and the funding increases for critical government programs will continue to reverse decades of disinvestment in our communities.
A detailed summary of the bill is available here.