pexels pixabay 260367MARYVILLE – To ensure local emergency services are prepared to protect Metro East communities, State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) announced five local fire departments will receive funding through the Small Equipment Grant Program, administered by the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal.

“Fire departments and protection districts in downstate oftentimes have difficulty purchasing equipment due to budget constraints,” Crowe said. “With these investments in public safety, our state can help ensure our firefighters have adequate equipment, and are ready to serve and protect our families and communities.”

The Small Equipment Grant Program was established by OSFM to provide grants of up to $26,000 to support small firefighting and ambulance equipment purchases. A total of $3.3 million was awarded to 149 fire departments and EMS providers across the state through the program.

Five grant recipients are located within the 56th Senate District:

  • Collinsville Fire Department – $20,000
  • Cottage Hills Fire Protection District – $26,000
  • Edwardsville Fire Department – $9,554
  • South Roxana Fire Protection District- $26,000
  • Village of East Alton Fire Department – $25,367.25

A complete list of recipients and awards can be found on the OSFM website.

Category: Press Releases

ghMARYVILLE — To encourage children to keep their reading skills sharp over the summer, State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) is launching a Summer Reading Club for students who live in the 56th Senate District.

“Reading encourages children to develop a lifelong interest in books while maintaining reading skills as they transition into the next grade level,” Crowe said. “Reading keeps young minds active, and I’m excited to incentivize students to stay engaged throughout the summer.”

Studies indicate that 2 months of reading skills and 2 ½ months of math skills are lost over a single summer.

The Summer Book Club requires students to read eight books of their choice during the summer break, record the names of the books and return the form to Crowe’s office by Aug. 13. Everyone who completes the summer reading club will receive a gift card to a local small business and certificate.

Parents can call Crowe's office at 618-251-9840 to request a copy by mail or to get additional information.

Click here to download a form.

Category: Press Releases

IMG 1613EDWARDSVILLE – Under the leadership of vice-chair State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon), members of the Senate Tourism and Hospitality Committee met Thursday at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville to allow Metro East industry leaders and owners the opportunity to address lawmakers and give feedback on the state’s economic recovery plan.

“The COVID-19 pandemic put a pause on the state economy, keeping residents close to home and taking a particularly staggering toll on Illinois’ tourism industry,” Crowe said. “By giving local business owners the opportunity to address lawmakers directly, we can work to truly recover from the pandemic’s hardships to craft plans and policies at the state level to help our communities bounce back.”

Metro East tourism industry leaders and business owners testified before the committee, urging action and sharing the financial impacts the pandemic have had on business operations.

Kristin DiCenso, representing the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, provided opening remarks before hearing from industry leaders. Witnesses included Steve Gorazd, owner of the Bella Vista Winery in Maryville; Cory Jobe, President and CEO of Great Rivers and Routes Tourism; Pat McGinnis from AltonWorks; Mitch Bair representing the Gateway Convention Center in Collinsville; Brenda Whitaker, owner of four small businesses in Granite City; Ronda Sauget, Executive Director of the Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois; and Hamilton Callison with Breakthru Beverage in Belleville.

Some speakers commented on the nationwide labor shortage, how it is difficult to find qualified employees to fill positions and work shifts. Lawmakers said they will look at solutions to create workforce training programs and ways to connect unemployed residents with career opportunities.

The committee met at the Fuller Dome on SIUE’s campus, and members were also given the option to participate via Zoom. For more information and to see a schedule of upcoming hearings, refer to the committee’s page on

Category: Press Releases

05312021CM0052SPRINGFIELD – To expand workers’ rights protections and economic opportunity for communities, casino applicants will be required to use union labor when seeking a new or renewed casino license thanks to a measure co-sponsored by State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) and State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) that was signed into law Thursday.

“Illinois workers need access to economic opportunity and deserve assurance their jobs are secure,” Belt said. “This measure is exactly what our state needs to protect the hard working individuals, especially to ensure jobs in the Metro East continue to be available in the future.”

Casino owner applicants must provide evidence that they have entered into a project labor agreement which conforms to requirements of the Project Labor Agreements Act. The agreements will apply to employees engaged in construction and will also ensure the protection of Illinois jobs by eliminating the ability to bring in out-of-state workers at low wages.  

“With this initiative, Illinois is working to create jobs and ensuring good paying jobs stay in downstate,” Crowe said. “By upholding promises to our local labor unions, we can express our appreciation for their local contributions.”

Required contents of project labor agreements include:

  • Goals for apprenticeship hours to be performed by underrepresented minorities and women
  • Procedures for resolving jurisdiction labor disputes and grievances
  • Ensuring a reliable source of skilled and experienced labor
  • Guarantees against strikes and lockouts
  • Allowing the selection of the lowest qualified responsible bidder, without regard to union or non-union status at other construction sites
  • Binding all contractors and subcontractors on the project through appropriate bid specifications in all relevant bid documents

Any pending new casino application before the Illinois Gaming Board must provide evidence of the project labor agreement within 30 days after the effective date.

The law is effective immediately.

Category: Press Releases

COVID19 Updates

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Contact Info

District Offices
35 Executive Plaza Court
Maryville, IL 62062
(618) 251-9840 P

111 N. Wood River Ave., Suite A
Wood River, IL 62095
(By appointment only)
(618) 251-9840 P

Springfield Office
311B Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-5247 P

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