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1    AN ACT concerning State government.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Department of Commerce and Economic
5Opportunity Law of the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois
6is amended by adding Section 605-1057 as follows:
7    (20 ILCS 605/605-1057 new)
8    Sec. 605-1057. State-designated cultural districts.
9    (a) As used in this Section, "State-designated cultural
10district" means a geographical area certified under this
11Section that has a distinct, historic, and cultural identity.
12Municipalities or 501(c)(3) organizations working on behalf of
13a certified geographical area should seek to:
14        (1) Promote a distinct historic and cultural
15    community.
16        (2) Encourage economic development and supports
17    entrepreneurship in the geographic area and community.
18        (3) Encourage the preservation and development of
19    historic and culturally significant structures,
20    traditions, and languages.
21        (4) Foster local cultural development and education.
22        (5) Provide a focal point for celebrating and
23    strengthening the unique cultural identity of the



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1    community.
2        (6) Promote growth and opportunity without generating
3    displacement or expanding inequality.
4    (b) Administrative authority. The Department of Commerce
5and Economic Opportunity shall establish criteria and
6guidelines for State-designated cultural districts by rule in
7accordance with qualifying criteria outlined in subsection
8(c). In executing its powers and duties under this Section,
9the Department shall:
10        (1) establish a competitive application system by
11    which a community may apply for certification as a
12    State-designated cultural district;
13        (2) provide technical assistance for State-designated
14    cultural districts by collaborating with all relevant
15    offices and grantees of the Department to help them
16    identify and achieve their goals for cultural
17    preservation, including, but not limited to, promotional
18    support of State-designated cultural districts and support
19    for small businesses looking to access resources;
20        (3) collaborate with other State agencies, units of
21    local government, community organizations, and private
22    entities to maximize the benefits of State-designated
23    cultural districts; and
24        (4) establish an advisory committee to advise the
25    Department on program rules and the certification process.
26    The advisory committee shall reflect the diversity of the



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1    State of Illinois, including geographic, racial, and
2    ethnic diversity. The advisory committee must include:
3            (A) a representative of the Department of Commerce
4        and Economic Opportunity appointed by the Director;
5            (B) a representative of the Department of
6        Agriculture appointed by the Director of Agriculture;
7            (C) a representative of the Illinois Housing
8        Development Authority appointed by the Executive
9        Director of the Illinois Housing Development
10        Authority;
11            (D) two members of the House of Representatives
12        appointed one each by the Speaker of the House of
13        Representatives and the Minority Leader of the House
14        of Representatives;
15            (E) two members of the Senate appointed one each
16        by the President of the Senate and the Minority Leader
17        of the Senate; and
18            (F) four community representatives appointed by
19        the Governor representing diverse racial, ethnic, and
20        geographic groups not captured in the membership of
21        the other designees, with the input of community and
22        stakeholder groups.
23    (c) Certification. A geographical area within the State
24may be certified as a State-designated cultural district by
25applying to the Department for certification. Certification as
26a State-designated cultural district shall be for a period of



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110 years, after which the district may renew certification
2every 5 years. A municipality or 501(c)(3) organization may
3apply for certification on behalf of a geographic area. The
4applying entity is responsible for complying with reporting
5requirements under subsection (f). The Department shall
6develop criteria to assess whether an applicant qualifies for
7certification under this Section. That criteria must include a
8demonstration that the applicant and the community:
9        (1) have been historically impacted and are currently
10    at risk of losing their cultural identity because of
11    gentrification, displacement, or the COVID-19 pandemic;
12        (2) can demonstrate a history of economic
13    disinvestment; and
14        (3) can demonstrate strong community support for the
15    cultural district designation through active and formal
16    participation by community organizations and municipal and
17    regional government agencies or officials.
18    (d) Each applicant shall be encouraged by the Department
20        (1) have development plans that include and prioritize
21    the preservation of local businesses and retention of
22    existing residents and businesses; and
23        (2) have an education framework in place informed with
24    a vision of food justice, social justice, community
25    sustainability, and social equity.
26    (e) The Department shall award no more than 5



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1State-designated cultural districts every year. At no point
2shall the total amount of State-designated cultural districts
3be more than 15, unless otherwise directed by the Director of
4the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity in
5consultation with the advisory committee.
6    (f) Within 12 months after being designated a cultural
7district, the State-designated cultural district shall submit
8a report to the Department detailing its current programs and
9goals for the next 4 years of its designation. For each year
10thereafter that the district remains a State-designated
11cultural district, it shall submit a report to the Department
12on the status of the program and future developments of the
13district. Any State-designated cultural district that fails to
14file a report for 2 consecutive years shall lose its status.
15    (g) This Section is repealed on July 1, 2031.