052020210081SPRINGFIELD – Local park districts would have more time to complete projects funded through the Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development grant program under a measure sponsored by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines), which has passed both chambers of the Illinois legislature.

“The COVID-19 pandemic put a pause on many local governments’ development plans, and some are still working to get back on schedule,” Murphy said. “I’m thrilled to see the Illinois legislature come together to give park districts the support, flexibility and time they need to recover at their own pace.”

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources, which administers the OSLAD grant program, provides an advance payment of 50% of the grant up front. State law requires grantees to complete projects within two years of receiving grant funds, meaning that park districts have just two years after this advance payment to complete projects.

The legislation Murphy proposed would allow park districts to opt out of advance payments on OSLAD grants, delaying the start of the two-year grant timeline and giving them more authority over when to begin projects.

In addition to allowing park districts more freedom on future projects, Murphy’s initiative would also provide more flexibility on active grant projects by directing IDNR to consider recipients’ requests to extend deadlines.

“Helping our communities grow and thrive—on a timeline that fits their needs—is a bipartisan issue,” Murphy said. “I’m glad to have my colleagues’ support on this initiative, and I hope to see the governor sign the measure into law soon.”

House Bill 1760 passed the Senate Thursday with bipartisan support.

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Office Info

Springfield Office:
108E Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-3875

District Office:

1645 South River Road, Suite 7
Des Plaines, Illinois 60018
 (847) 718-1110