PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) on Friday touted the local impact of the American Rescue Plan at Heartland Health Services in Peoria.
“We’re going to put this money into education, healthcare, protection neighborhood safety, and things that count,” Durbin said.
The City of Peoria received $47 million from the ARP and Peoria County received $36 million, with 3.5 years to spend the money.
Durbin said the large investments are needed to move past the pandemic.
“We need to have these communities feel they can move forward, we need jobs to be created, we need folks to get good-paying jobs so they can keep their families together, we need to address the basics in our country,” he said.
Bustos said the American Rescue Plan is about “the whole health of a person.”
“It is about how to do you get to the doctor, when you get home from the doctor do you have the resources to fill that prescription?”
Peoria Mayor Rita Ali said the money will be “a great benefit in terms of healthcare.”
“It’s important that we educate, the money will help us educate the community, to protect our community, to keep our citizens safe,” she said.
Ali said ARP funds allowed her to take management employees off furlough and not have to borrow $10 million. She said she hopes to work closely with Peoria County leaders to make a bigger impact.
“Hopefully there will be a collaboration between Peoria City and Peoria County so that we can leverage our resources,” she said.
Durbin promised to keep a close eye on the funds to make sure they are well spent.
“Congresswoman Bustos and I voted for the substantial funds coming to local communities and we’re going to watch carefully and closely,” he said.