SBussNAPERVILLE – State Senator Laura Ellman is celebrating the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s $27 million funding opportunity for school districts exploring the use of electric school buses.

“Purchasing prices for eco-friendly vehicles have often been a sore spot for communities looking to make the transition,” said Ellman (D-Naperville). “Relieving this burden off of school districts enables a smooth transition to eco-friendly transportation and fosters the growth of Illinois electric transportation and infrastructure.”

The Driving a Cleaner Illinois program was created to distribute funding for various types of diesel emission reduction projects. This latest funding announcement will provide funds to replace existing diesel school buses with new all-electric school buses located and operated in three priority areas. The Illinois EPA will also fund a portion of new electric charging equipment if charging infrastructure is needed.

Through this funding opportunity, the Illinois EPA intends to fund projects in three priority areas, with DuPage County designated in priority area one.

“This recent notice of funding opportunity supports Illinois’ goal of one million electric vehicles by 2030, which is quickly approaching,” said Ellman. “I hope local school districts take advantage of this opportunity to reduce emissions while simultaneously decreasing energy costs.”

Applications for the Driving a Cleaner Illinois – Volkswagen All-Electric School Buses grant program will be accepted through 5 p.m. on September 5, 2023. All applicants must pre-qualify through the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act Grantee Portal. School districts and commercial school bus providers interested in learning more about the Driving a Cleaner Illinois program can visit the IEPA’s website here.

030723CM0364SPRINGFIELD – Veteran- and minority-owned business may soon receive preference in the sale of transferable property thanks to a measure sponsored by State Senator Laura Ellman.

“Oftentimes, former state property can become vacant eyesores in the community,” said Ellman (D-Naperville). “Extending a preference to veteran-owned businesses and minority-owned businesses concerning the allocation of state property is a great way to lift up those who have previously been left behind.”

Currently, when an administrator determines that property owned by the state will be sold, they must first offer it to municipalities, counties and school districts and to charitable, not-for-profit educational and public health organizations. Ellman’s measure would add veteran-and minority-owned businesses to the list of entities that receive preferential status.

“Minority- and veteran-owned businesses are often the first line of small businesses that give back to the community. Uplifting these businesses ultimately uplifts local communities as a whole.” said Ellman. “U.S. Senator Duckworth alerted me of this issue. Veteran – and minority-owned businesses deserve the same opportunities found at the Federal level at the State level.”

Senate Bill 1935 passed the Senate Thursday and will now head to the House for further consideration.

032223CM0027SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation could soon develop a mobile application to provide motorists with updates on road conditions, thanks to a measure sponsored by State Senator Laura Ellman.

“Knowledge of road conditions before a road trip helps travelers safely plan their travels,” said Ellman (D-Naperville). “The information the Illinois Department of Transportation collects for their services can help keep Illinois drivers informed and safe.”

Senate Bill 1526 stipulates that a mobile application must include updates on accidents, construction zones, lane closures, delays, weather conditions and other various road conditions throughout Illinois. The measure is similar to an initiative of the Indiana Department of Transportation, who have already implemented a mobile application.

“Weather apps give us a hunch on road conditions during extreme weather, but there is room for growth,” said Ellman. “Combining information on road conditions during extreme weather with additional information on accidents, construction and delays will help Illinois drivers make it to their destinations safely.”

Senate Bill 1526 passed the Senate and will now head to the House for further consideration.


pexels torsten kellermann 955656NAPERVILLE – The Lombard Park District is among the 118 recipients of Open Space Land Acquisition and Development grants distributed through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, State Senator Laura Ellman announced Thursday.

“Our local parks are a great place for kids to get outside to play, explore, and just be in a natural setting,” said Ellman (D-Naperville). “Green spaces and parks offer busy families and residents a greater sense of community.”

A total of $60 million in state grants are being awarded for 118 local park projects throughout Illinois to help communities acquire land and develop recreational opportunities. The grants represent the largest round of Open Space Land Acquisition and Development grants in the 36-year history of the program.

OSLAD is a cost-sharing program between state and local governments that has become one of the most popular grant programs in Illinois. Since it was established, OSLAD has awarded more than $530 million for park projects throughout Illinois. Lombard Park District is set to receive $600,000 in funds from the program this year.

“Lombard Park District prides themselves with providing excellent recreation opportunities for residents to savor,” said Ellman. “I’m excited to see the ways Lombard Park District will expand their efforts in building our community thanks to the Open Space Land Acquisition and Development grant.”

For more information about the OSLAD grant program and to see a full list of recipients, visit DNR’s website.



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