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Public Act 102-0648


 

Public Act 0648 102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY

  
  
  

 


 
Public Act 102-0648
 
SB2290 EnrolledLRB102 17355 RJF 22846 b

    AN ACT concerning State government.
 
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
 
    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
Illinois Broadband Adoption Fund Act.
 
    Section 5. Definitions. As used in this Act:
    "Broadband Internet" means lines or wireless channels that
terminate at an end-user location and enable the end-user to
receive a minimum service level of 25 megabits per second
download speed and 3 megabits per second upload speed.
    "Covered agencies" means those social service agencies
receiving State or federal funds to assist persons eligible
under the Illinois Broadband Adoption Program.
    "Department" means the Department of Human Services.
    "Fund" refers to the Illinois Broadband Adoption Fund.
    "Provider" means a provider of broadband Internet in this
State.
 
    Section 10. Illinois Broadband Adoption Program. The
Illinois Broadband Adoption Program is established for the
purpose of expanding availability of broadband Internet
connectivity throughout the State by:
        (1) providing financial assistance to State residents
    to whom broadband Internet service is available, but who
    may require assistance to adopt or maintain service due to
    economic hardship;
        (2) promoting the adoption of home broadband Internet
    service by State residents; and
        (3) supporting digital skills training for State
    residents.
 
    Section 15. Illinois Broadband Adoption Fund.
    (a) The Illinois Broadband Adoption Fund is established as
a special fund within the State treasury for the purpose of
providing financial assistance under this Act. The Department
shall administer the fund.
    (b) The fund consists of:
        (1) money received through the federal American Rescue
    Plan and other vehicles designed to address and relieve
    economic hardship for State households;
        (2) money appropriated by the General Assembly;
        (3) money transferred to the fund under the Treasurer
    as Custodian of Funds Act; and
        (4) donations, gifts, and money received from any
    other source, including transfers from other funds or
    accounts.
    (c) The Treasurer shall invest the money in the fund not
currently needed to meet the obligations of the fund in the
same manner as other public funds may be invested.
 
    Section 20. Application for financial assistance.
    (a) The Department may determine qualifications for
broadband Internet provider participation and enter into an
agreement with each provider under which the provider agrees
to accept vouchers distributed by the Department under this
Act as a form of payment for the provider's broadband Internet
service.
    (b) In coordination with the covered agencies, the
Department shall send information regarding the availability
of financial assistance under this Act to each eligible family
or person receiving the public assistance in Section (d). The
information must include:
        (1) the name and contact information of each provider
    who has entered into an agreement with the Department as
    described in subsection (a) whose broadband Internet
    service is available in their area; and
        (2) instructions for applying to the Department for
    financial assistance under this Section.
    (c) An individual who receives information under
subsection (b) may apply for financial assistance under this
Section in the manner specified by the Department. Upon
receipt of an application, the Department shall determine:
        (1) the applicant's eligibility for financial
    assistance;
        (2) the amount of financial assistance for which the
    applicant is eligible; and
        (3) whether the applicant is eligible for a single
    payment or a recurring payment of financial assistance,
    based on the Department's assessment of the applicant's
    need.
    (d) An applicant for financial assistance under this Act
is automatically eligible for financial assistance under this
Act if:
        (1) the applicant is receiving, or the applicant's
    household includes, an individual who is receiving
    benefits under:
            (A) the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
        (TANF) program;
            (B) the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
        Program (SNAP); or
            (C) the Medicaid program; or
        (2) the applicant's household includes a child who is
    eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.
    (e) If the Department determines under subsection (c) that
an individual is eligible for financial assistance, or that
the individual is eligible for financial assistance under
subsection (d), the Department may provide financial
assistance to the individual or to the broadband Internet
provider designated by the individual in the form of one or
more vouchers, each in an amount of up to $50, that can be used
by the individual to pay one or more of the following expenses:
        (1) fees charged by a broadband Internet provider for
    installation, activation, equipment purchase, Wi-Fi
    extenders, or other one-time expenses of providing
    broadband Internet service to the individual;
        (2) monthly subscription fees charged by a broadband
    Internet provider for the provision of broadband Internet
    service to the individual household, including modem,
    router, or other service or equipment charges; and
        (3) overdue amounts owed to provider, including
    administrative fees and penalties.
    A voucher or similar designation of eligibility may be
provided by the Department in printed or electronic form.
    (f) A provider that receives a voucher under this Section
from an individual household who subscribes to the provider's
broadband Internet service shall deduct the amount of the
voucher from the amount owed by the subscriber for the
provider's provision of broadband Internet service to the
individual household on a monthly basis.
    (g) If the fund does not receive an ongoing appropriation
from the General Assembly, the Department shall provide a
90-day notice to participating households and broadband
Internet providers that financial support will be
discontinued.
 
    Section 100. The Department of Commerce and Economic
Opportunity Law of the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois
is amended by adding Section 605-1055 as follows:
 
    (20 ILCS 605/605-1055 new)
    Sec. 605-1055. Illinois Innovation Voucher Program.
    (a) The Department is authorized to establish the Illinois
Innovation Voucher Program to be administered in accordance
with this Section for the purpose of fostering research and
development in key industry clusters leading to the creation
of new products and services that can be marketed by Illinois
businesses. Subject to appropriation, the Department may award
innovation vouchers to eligible businesses to offset a portion
of expenses incurred through a collaborative research
engagement with an Illinois institution of higher education.
    (b) Subject to appropriation, the Department may award
matching funds in the form of innovation vouchers up to 75% of
the cost of the research engagement not to exceed $75,000. A
business may receive only one innovation voucher under this
Section per year.
    (c) The Department, when administering the Program under
this Section:
        (1) must encourage participation among small and
    mid-sized businesses;
        (2) must encourage participation in the Program in
    diverse geographic and economic areas, including urban,
    suburban, and rural areas of the State; and
        (3) must encourage participation in the Program from
    businesses that operate in key industries, as defined by
    the Department. These industries include, but are not
    limited to, the following: (i) agribusiness and agtech;
    (ii) energy; (iii) information technology; (iv) life
    sciences and healthcare; (v) manufacturing; and (vi)
    transportation and logistics.
    (d) In order to be eligible for an innovation voucher
under this Section, a business must satisfy all of the
following conditions:
        (1) the business must be an Illinois-based business.
    For the purposes of this Section, "Illinois-based
    business" means a business that has its principal place of
    business in this State or that employs at least 100
    full-time employees, as defined under Section 5-5 of the
    Economic Development for a Growing Economy Tax Credit Act,
    in this State;
        (2) the business must remain in this State for the
    duration of research engagement; and
        (3) the partnering institution of higher education
    must be an Illinois-based institution of higher education
    and non-profit. For the purposes of this Section,
    "Illinois-based institution of higher education" means an
    institution of higher education that has its main physical
    campus in this State.
    (e) The Department may adopt any rules necessary to
administer the provisions of this Section.
 
    Section 105. The State Finance Act is amended by adding
Section 5.935 as follows:
 
    (30 ILCS 105/5.935 new)
    Sec. 5.935. The Illinois Broadband Adoption Fund.
 
    Section 999. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
becoming law.

Effective Date: 8/27/2021