• Crowe highlights state funds to create jobs in Metro East

    workers 091420MARYVILLE – State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) applauded the state’s COVID-19 response employment opportunities, which aim to connect residents who are out of work with new job options.

    “These positions put food on the table of working families and give those who are hired the opportunity to join the fight against the pandemic here in Illinois,” Crowe said. “I strongly encourage qualified residents to apply.”

    Among the statewide awardees distributed by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is St. Clair County Southwest with a Disaster Recovery Grant totaling $225,200 and Madison County Southwest with an Economic Recovery Grant totaling $1,467,594.

    The grants will provide out-of-work Illinoisans with training and employment in jobs that assist local disaster relief programs and industries in high demand amidst the pandemic.

    Positions include COVID-19 recovery-related temporary jobs to help mitigate COVID-19 in communities, such as contact tracers, COVID-19 protocol workers, building sanitization workers, temperature screeners, and food preparation and distribution workers identified by local communities.

    A full list of COVID-19 workforce training grantees as well as their program offerings is available on the DCEO website.

  • Crowe welcomes free COVID-19 mobile testing sites in Alton, Edwardsville

    covid mobile 091120MARYVILLE – State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) is encouraging residents to take advantage of two new mobile testing sites in Madison County this weekend.

    “In order to defeat COVID-19, we need to make testing available to everyone who needs it,” Crowe said. “I’m pleased to see two mobile testing sites open in Madison County that will help protect our neighbors and loved ones while we fight to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

    A testing site will open Saturday, Sept. 12 at Monroe Memorial Church, located at 1901 Belle St. in Alton, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition, testing will be available Sunday, Sept. 13 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, located at 74 Circle Drive in Edwardsville.

    All residents of Madison County, with or without symptoms, can be tested for free. Face masks will be required, but no appointment is needed to be tested. Tests will be administered via nasal swab, and patients will receive a call with their results within a few days.

    These testing sites are sponsored by the Madison County Health Department and the Illinois Department of Public Health and are available this weekend only. For more information and to stay up to date on COVID-19, visit the Madison County Health Department’s website.

  • Crowe: $36 million in opioid crisis aid will save lives

    opioids 2 090820MARYVILLE – As overdoses rise across the nation, State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) is grateful for $36.7 million in federal funds to fight back against the opioid crisis in Illinois.

    “Swelled by the COVID-19 pandemic, the growing opioid epidemic continues to devastate families across Illinois,” Crowe said. “Putting funds directly into communities that have suffered so much as a result of opioid addiction will save lives and put us on a road to recovery.”

    The State Opioid Response federal grant will be used to support the following initiatives:

    • Expand access to Medication Assisted Recovery (MAR) services for residents with opioid use disorders, including those in the criminal justice system;
    • Hospital screenings and strengthening links to community treatment programs for patients;
    • Supportive housing and digital resources for persons in recovery from opioid use disorder;
    • Access to medication-assisted recovery for patients at federally qualified health centers;
    • Recovery support services for pregnant and postpartum women with opioid use disorders;
    • Mentoring and coaching for medical professionals prescribing medications for opioid use disorder;
    • A toll-free Helpline for opioids and other substances;
    • Expanded treatment for residents with stimulant use disorder, in response to rising rates of methamphetamine and cocaine use.

    This grant was awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

    Anyone experiencing problems with substance use disorder can call the state’s Helpline for Opioids and other Substances at 1-833-234-6343, text “HELP” to 833234 or visit

  • Crowe completes first round of small business tour in Metro East

    crowe 090220MARYVILLETo highlight individual social-distancing efforts and give business owners an opportunity to voice concerns, State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) has completed the first round of her small business tour, visiting nine locally-owned businesses within the Metro East region.

    “From visiting retail employees to optometrists, every business owner I had the pleasure of meeting with is taking the pandemic seriously and imposing mask requirements, social distancing and deep sanitizing,” Crowe said. “My goal with this tour was to highlight their efforts, while also offering a casual conversation in order to have a better understanding of the effects of the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

    To invite different perspectives from business owners and employees in all industries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Crowe visited:

    • Kloss Furniture in Edwardsville,
    • Aphrodite Skin Care in Maryville,
    • Financial Adviser Dustin Jumper’s Edward Jones office in Maryville,
    • Escape Salon & Spa in Edwardsville,
    • Behavioral Health Alternatives in Wood River,
    • Leiber Vision Center in Alton,
    • St. Peter’s Hardware & Rental in Alton,
    • Advanced Outsource Solutions in Alton and
    • Cleveland Heath in Edwardsville.

    “Several of the businesses I visited were approved for PPP loans, which has relieved some financial stress from payroll and other operating costs,” Crowe said. “To ensure our small businesses aren’t held personally liable, I’m now working to facilitate the loan forgiveness portion.”

    Every business will be featured with more information from each visit on Sen. Crowe’s Facebook page. Business owners interested in inviting Sen. Crowe to tour are encouraged to apply at

  • Crowe announces tax holiday initiative for back-to-school shopping in Illinois

    school supplies 082820MARYVILLE – Working families and teachers may see lower back-to-school shopping costs next year, thanks to a measure introduced by State Senator Rachelle Crowe.

    Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) filed Senate Bill 4008, which would create a tax holiday on clothes and school supplies starting with the 2021-2022 school year.

  • Crowe highlights driver’s license extension for senior drivers

    older driver 082520MARYVILLE – To help keep Illinois’ senior residents from waiting in line at the DMV, State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) alerted drivers age 75 and older that their driver’s license expiration dates have been extended by one year.

    “With long wait times at the DMV, usually requiring patrons to wait outside, the one-year extension for senior drivers is the latest action to help seniors avoid or delay a visit during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Crowe said. “This extension will give our elder population the option to plan a visit when they are comfortable, with no penalty.”

    To qualify for the extension, drivers must be 75 years of age or older and have a valid license—drivers whose licenses have been suspended or revoked do not qualify for the one-year extension. Eligible drivers should soon receive a letter from the secretary of state as proof that they qualify.

    For drivers under age 75, expiration dates for driver’s licenses, ID cards and license plate stickers have been extended until Nov. 1, 2020. Customers who choose to visit a facility must wear a face mask. In addition, customers are asked to be patient due to heavy volume and to be prepared to wait outside in various types of weather.

    “Within our community, I’ve heard from veterans and other seniors, including my own sweet grandmother, concerned with waiting in line at the DMV, because they are unable to access the online services,” Crowe said. “I hope this extension can offer them all some peace of mind in this difficult time.”

    Crowe continues to encourage drivers to visit to avoid waiting in line and take advantage of online services, including replacements and renewals of registrations, driver’s licenses and ID cards.

  • Crowe partners with Granite City to prepare students for e-learning

    crowe 081920GRANITE CITY – In an effort to help teachers adapt to a school year that will rely heavily on e-learning, State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) coordinated with officials at Granite City Community Unit School District #9 to ensure 3,000 Chromebooks were ready for students to begin class next week.

    “Spending the day unboxing Chromebooks is not how I think anybody expected to be spending their time leading up to school this year, but teachers have stepped up to the task of teaching students while also keeping them and their community safe,” Crowe said.

  • Crowe applauds local businesses receiving pandemic relief grants

    crowe 022720MARYVILLE – To offer support to small business owners facing economic hardship as a result of the pandemic, State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) announced 25 local businesses will receive funds through the Business Interruption Grant program.

    “Our local businesses fell victim to unprecedented revenue loss from the COVID-19 pandemic," Crowe said. “It’s reassuring to see investments going directly into our small business community, and I hope this funding can offer a boost during these tough times.”

    The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity awarded a total of $46 million to 2,655 small businesses in the first round of BIG funding. The BIG program offers grants to Illinois restaurants and bars, barbershops and salons, and fitness centers that have suffered pandemic-related losses, with a focus on businesses in the hardest-hit areas of the state.

    First round grants range from $10,000 to $20,000 and may be used to help businesses with working capital expenses, including payroll costs, rent and utilities. The funds may also be used to cover pandemic-related expenses, such as PPE, training and new technology.

    “To ensure safety for workers and consumers, the BIG program will allow businesses to prioritize safety while adjusting to new social distancing guidelines,” Crowe said. “While it’s encouraging to see businesses getting assistance, I know our work is just starting to ensure our community fully recovers from this crisis.”

    The BIG program is the largest state-run economic support program formed in response to the COVID-19 economic downturn. The full list of grant recipients is available here.

  • Belt, Crowe urge Metro East residents to complete 2020 Census

    census 081120Lawmakers concerned by low response rates in St. Clair County

    EAST ST. LOUIS – With time running out to count households and St. Clair county recording low response rates, State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) and State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) encourage Metro East residents to complete the 2020 Census. 

    “We have to fill out the census before it's too late,” Belt said. “This simple action determines so much about the resources provided to our community. This is the first step in solving injustices, in public health, racial equity and even law enforcement. The Census Bureau needs the most accurate data in order to help us help ourselves.”

    “To ensure our region is counted efficiently and allotted the necessary federal aid, every household is responsible for completing the census,” Crowe said. “If your household has responded, you can help by talking to your family members, friends and neighbors about how simple it is. It takes minutes to complete and makes a difference in our communities for years to come.”

    Seven municipalities in St. Clair County and one in Madison County have a rate of 49.9% or lower on the statewide response rate list. The cities and villages included by name and rate listed are:

    • Washington Park – 31.4%
    • Brooklyn – 39.1%
    • Venice (Madison County) – 41.9%
    • Alorton – 43.1%
    • East St. Louis – 44.2%
    • Centreville – 49.4%
    • Fairmont City – 49.7%
    • Cahokia – 49.9%

    Residents can complete the census for their household at

  • Crowe highlights state grant awarded to Mississippi Valley Library District

    library 011520MARYVILLE – To ensure quality education resources for students in the Metro East, State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) is announcing a state grant for the Mississippi Valley Library Grant to aid in mentoring programs.

    “This grant will provide an opportunity for students needing extra support, especially in the unprecedented times we’re experiencing,” Crowe said. “I commend the state for investing in our youth.”

    The Mississippi Valley Library District received a $27,463 grant to support Project Next Generation efforts, a mentoring program for students to develop technological skills, achieve success through project-based learning and gain life skills such as effective communication, goal-setting and conflict resolution.

    The Secretary of State awarded $559,358 in 2021 PNG grants to 28 public libraries statewide, based on districts serving culturally diverse, low-income and underserved populations.

    Projects were awarded grants from the Illinois State Library using federal Library Services and Technology Act funds provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

  • Crowe announces more than $6 million for local road projects

    Road workMARYVILLE – With construction slated to begin in the next year, State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) is announcing more than $6 million in state investments for road projects within her district.

    “By investing in our local infrastructure, our state is committing to the transportation needs of Metro East residents,” Crowe said. “Ensuring reliable transportation for seniors, working families and students while creating construction jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic is a start to getting our local economies back on track.”

    Totaling more than $6.4 million, 10 major projects are scheduled to begin on local highways in Crowe’s district by next summer. The projects are listed by county below:

    Madison County

    • Replace bridge on Albers Lane over Rocky Branch Creek in Bethalto
    • Restore 0.14 miles of North Prairie Street from Corbin Street to Williams Street in Bethalto
    • Reconstruct intersection of Sugar Loaf Road and Illinois Route 157 in Collinsville
    • Restore 0.34 miles of pavement on North Buchanan Street from East Union Street to Hillsboro Avenue in Edwardsville
    • Restore 0.34 miles of pavement on Keebler Road from Illinois Route 162 to Old Keebler Road in Glen Carbon
    • Restore 0.2 miles of pavement on Johnson Road from Terrace Lane to Nameoki Road in Granite City
    • Restore 0.47 miles of Wood River Avenue from Eckhard Avenue to Ferguson Avenue in Wood River

    St. Clair County

    • Restore 0.18 miles of pavement and repair sidewalks on Morris Street from Illinois Route 157 to 2nd Street in Caseyville
    • Improve intersection of Hartman Lane and Central Park Drive in O’Fallon
    • Restore 0.32 miles of pavement on Venita Drive from Taylor Road to the entrance of the O’Fallon Sports Park

    The Illinois Department of Transportation’s Multi-Year Plan will invest $21.3 billion to improve the state’s infrastructure over the next six years. Projects included in the program were selected based on objective criteria, such as pavement conditions, traffic volumes and crash history.

  • Crowe urges fraud victims to come forward, help bring scammers to justice

    keybank debit 072320MARYVILLE – Those who haven't applied for unemployment benefits but receive a debit card claiming to provide them could be the target of a scam, State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) warned residents.

    “It’s beyond disappointing scammers are targeting vulnerable residents and their unemployment benefits during this time of economic crisis,” Crowe said. “In an effort to bring scammers to justice, IDES is aggressively cracking down on fraudsters filing false claims.”

    Last week, reports surfaced of individuals receiving KeyBank debit cards and unemployment letters in the mail, despite never having applied for benefits. According to IDES, people who received these erroneous mailings may be targets of fraud.  

    After receiving these reports, IDES launched an investigation into what appears to be a nationwide fraud scheme targeting applicants to the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. IDES said ambiguous federal guidelines—developed hastily to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic—leave PUA claimants open to attack. IDES maintains this scheme is not connected to the PUA program access issue experienced in May.

    A dedicated team of staffers is now working directly with individuals whose identities are being used or have possibly been stolen. The department is also working with local and federal law enforcement authorities to pursue and prosecute those committing fraud.

    Individuals who have received debit cards in the mail without applying for benefits should not activate them, and are urged to call IDES immediately at 1-800-814-0513 to report identity theft. 

    Victims of fraud should also check their credit reports for possible suspicious activity, post a fraud alert and visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website for helpful tips on recognizing and reporting identity theft.

  • Crowe joins IDOT to announce funding for Metro East road projects

    crowe idot 072120COLLINSVILLE –State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) joined area legislators and officials with the Illinois Department of Transportation in Collinsville Tuesday to announce funding for the Metro East’s next projects as part of the state’s ongoing multi-year construction plan.

    “Although Illinois is experiencing vast economic issues during the COVID-19 pandemic, this announcement comes at a time when residents need good-paying, labor jobs as well as reliable transportation,” Crowe said. “By investing in our state’s infrastructure, we’re committing to both of these necessary expectations.”

    In total, the governor announced the state’s $21.3 billion plan to improve Illinois roads and bridges over the next six years. The program will create hundreds of thousands of job opportunities for residents across the state.

    Earlier this year, construction began on multiple projects within the Rebuild Illinois plan, including the ongoing $67 million Interstate 255 rehabilitation project in St. Clair and Madison counties. The project is expected to be completed on time.

    Passed in 2019, IDOT’s complete Multi-Year Plan can be found here.

  • Elder Abuse Task Force meets to discuss issues related to COVID-19

    elderly 071520Chairwomen Crowe, Stuart pleased by collaborative effort

    MARYVILLE – Recognizing the devastating effects isolation and emotional abuse could have on seniors during the pandemic, State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) led a discussion about how to create additional protections for seniors at the final meeting of the Elder Abuse Task Force held Wednesday via teleconference.

    “As a former prosecutor, I have witnessed numerous cases of older people being targeted, from scams to criminal abuse. Getting all involved departments into one discussion was an effective way to hear about the many forms elder abuse can take and the many ways it can harm,” Crowe said. “Considering the initiatives the group is exploring, I’m confident they’ll provide solutions we can act on to fight this growing threat to our elders.”

  • Crowe urges small businesses to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program

    Senator CroweMARYVILLE – After securing an extension, the federal government is accepting more applications for the Paycheck Protection Program, and State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) is encouraging business owners to research the forgivable loan programs available through the Small Business Administration.

    “Although Illinois is in Phase Four of the state’s reopening plan, small businesses continue to struggle with lost revenues and additional costs in enacting guidelines,” Crowe said. “I’m strongly encouraging self-employed residents and small business owners to explore the benefits of applying for a federal, forgivable loan program.”

    To help provide financial support to businesses, the Federal Treasury Department and the U.S. Small Business Administration extended the application period for the Paycheck Protection Program. Businesses can get up to $10 million in relief funding through the first come, first served program. Under the extended deadline, businesses must apply by Aug. 8.

    The financial lifeline helps employers keep people on the payroll and pay overhead expenses. If used as intended, the loans don’t have to be repaid.

    More than 27,000 Illinois businesses have already taken advantage of the loans – saving an estimated 1.36 million jobs – according to the Small Business Administration.

    PPP loans have an interest rate of 1% and can be fully forgiven if they are used for payroll costs, rent, utilities or interest on mortgages.

    To find participating lenders, business owners and managers can visit the Small Business Administration’s website, found here.

    Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville’s Small Business Development Center is ready to assist entrepreneurs and companies by helping to find information and provide confidential business guidance, training and other resources to small businesses. More information is available at the SIUE SBDC website.

  • Crowe applauds Leadership Council SWIL as a new DCEO grant recipient

    crowe 012820MARYVILLE – The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity awarded 12 organizations with new state grants to support broadband advancements, and State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) is excited to congratulate Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois as a recipient.

    “Because of their experience of drawing private investment and economic advancement, Leadership Council SWIL supports nearly 700,000 residents and more than 250 leaders in business, industry, labor, education and government,” Crowe said. “This grant will allow the Southwestern Illinois region to advance and improve the reliability and consistency of internet connectivity for remote workers, telehealth, and e-learning for students.”

    The Illinois Connected Communities grant program was created to support building broadband capacity in some of the most underserved areas with awards up to $15,000.

    “The Leadership Council SWIL Education Committee is excited to participate in this this very important Broadband Connectivity planning effort,” said Dr. Ronda Sauget, Executive Director and CEO of Leadership Council SWIL.” It is more critical than ever before to have internet connectivity for remote work, e-learning, telemedicine, agricultural, and so many other sectors. This grant will help us to identify a path for SWIL to move forward.”

    The 12-month program enables each Illinois Connected Community to complete a plan for expanding broadband that identifies actions to improve internet access in the areas of community and economic development, education, civic engagement, healthcare, agriculture, and more.

    The program directs $150,000 in state-funded small grants for 12 community and local government partners to help improve access to high-speed broadband in their communities.  The state grants will be matched by $150,000 in philanthropic funds.

  • Crowe announces local grant recipients for adult literacy programs

    adult literacy 070820Skilled tutors encouraged to volunteer services

    MARYVILLE – In an effort to promote statewide literacy, the secretary of state has announced its grant recipients, and State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) congratulates two Metro East programs and encourages experienced, local tutors to volunteer.

    “By funding grant programs in a statewide effort to support adults overcoming literacy barriers, Illinois is assuring people have adequate resources for learning to communicate effectively,” Crowe said. “I encourage members of our community with a passion for educating to consider applying for a volunteer tutoring position.”

    Local recipients and awarded grant amounts in the 56th Senate District include $113,045 for Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey and $48,177 for the Metro East Literacy Project in O’Fallon, totaling $161,222.

    According to the secretary of state’s office, more than 13,500 students will be served by adult literacy programs throughout Illinois. Supported by $5.6 million in state funds, the programs will depend on nearly 6,000 volunteer tutors to provide skills training for students.

    Adult literacy projects focus on improving reading, writing and math and are targeted at Illinois adults who read below the 9th-grade level or speak English at a beginning level.

    If someone is interested in becoming a volunteer tutor, they can contact the Illinois Adult Learning Hotline at 1-800-321-9511.

  • Crowe warns motorists to be cautious of buckling pavement

    buckledpavement 070720MARYVILLE – In anticipation of forecasted extreme summer heat, State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) reminds drivers to remain alert, expect slowdowns and be cautious of pavement buckling on roads.

    “While extreme heat increases health risks, it also increases risks for pavements to fail,” Crowe said. “To ensure safety for everyone on the road, I urge residents to pay attention to pavement conditions, avoid driving over buckled roads and report issues quickly to officials.”

    According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, pavement failures or blowouts occur when prolonged high temperatures cause the road to expand and buckle up or blow out, resulting in uneven driving surfaces. Precipitation and humidity increase the potential for buckling.

    Pavement failures can be reported to IDOT by calling 800-452-4368 or by reaching out to law enforcement via 911.

  • Crowe grateful for funding for Metro East business development center

    Senator CroweMARYVILLE – To assist Metro East business owners impacted by COVID-19, State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) is grateful that Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville’s Small Business Development Center will receive an additional $200,000 supported by the CARES Act.

    “The business center at SIUE supports the Metro East region by strengthening the business community and creating new jobs and opportunities,” Crowe said. “By assisting entrepreneurs and companies through this time of financial strain, we’re providing resources to help businesses stay open and functional.”

    The SIUE Small Business Development Center is a service to the community supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and SIUE School of Business.

    Illinois Small Business Development Centers are located throughout the state and provide information, confidential business guidance, training and other resources to start-up and existing small businesses.

    For more information, visit the SBDC website.

  • Crowe supports new law to assist schools with pandemic challenges

    crowe 060319MARYVILLE – As part of the state’s response to COVID-19, State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) supported legislation to help school districts address the challenges created by the pandemic, signed into law Thursday by the governor.

    Senate Bill 1569 makes a number of changes that help schools adjust to remote learning and other challenges imposed by the pandemic, including:

    Allowing for the creation of remote learning days and remote learning plans,

    Allowing for a combination of remote learning and in-person instruction,

    Suspending clock hour requirements when a disaster is declared,

    Affirming graduation modifications granted to Spring 2020 graduates, and

    Allowing mandated exams to be completed remotely.

    “No one can predict our circumstances in the fall. This law allows school districts to adapt,” Crowe said. “It should help educators find new ways of educating students through e-learning.”

    Because teacher evaluations for the 2020-2021 school year have been paused due to COVID-19, the measure extends teacher license renewals by one year.

    The legislation also extends a law allowing retired teachers to return to the classroom as substitutes for up to 120 paid days or 600 paid hours without impairing their retirement status.

    “Illinois’ teacher shortage continues to affect communities throughout the state,” Crowe said. “Recognizing the ongoing struggle for downstate school districts to staff qualified teachers, this initiative protects retired teachers’ benefits while allowing them to serve as long-term substitutes.”

    Finally, the legislation also makes it easier for college students who receive financial assistance through the Aspirational Institutional Match Illinois Grow Higher Education Grant Pilot Program, also known as AIM HIGH, to retain their aid for the duration of their four years of undergraduate studies.

    AIM HIGH provides financial assistance to eligible low-income students who attend one of the state’s 12 public universities. Under the measure, the income of a student when entering the program will be the income of the student for the life of the program.

    Senate Bill 1569 is effective immediately.