Areas disproportionately effected by the War on Drugs have a chance to receive grant money from the state. The Restore, Reinvest, and Renew Program or R3 Grant Program grant applications are due July 20th to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
The money comes from 25% of the state sales tax on recreational marijuana sales. Quinn Rallins of Lieutenant Governor Julianna Stratton’s Office says the money can be used to address several different needs. “If in Aurora, they want to put all of their energy into violence prevention, that is something that they are allowed to do. If in Rockford, they want to address economic development, violence prevention, youth development, and the whole gamut; that is something they are allowed to do. Organizations can decide what works for their community in terms of the problems they are specifically they are trying to address. 90% of the funds essentially will go towards direct programming for organizations and communities who have already made ideas. We know that some communities are still trying to figure out what is they want to do, and they need support to figure out those concepts. About 10% of the funds, a small portion of the funds, will go towards strategic planning.”
Groups interested in applying for the grant can go to R3.Illinois.gov. Northeast portions of Jacksonville, portions of Greene, Brown, Cass, and Schuyler counties are all eligible for the funding.