SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to uplift the restaurant industry, State Senator Doris Turner announced a total of $785,000 was awarded to 19 local restaurants in Springfield, Chatham and Decatur, continuing her support for small businesses. open 208368 1920

“As a lifelong Central Illinois resident, I know we have a unique restaurant industry,” said Turner (D-Springfield). “The Back to Business grants have had a tremendous impact on small business and the owners. This funding will help our favorite restaurants keep their doors open and flourish for years to come.”

The Back to Business grant program provides recovery grants for small businesses throughout the state, with an emphasis on businesses in the hardest hit industries. Through the Back to Business and Business Interruption Grant programs, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has provided over $535 million to more than 15,000 businesses since the start of the pandemic.

Nineteen restaurants in the Springfield area and Decatur will receive $785,000 through this round of Back to Business grants.

“Small businesses create jobs, boost our local economy and are the backbone of our communities,” said Turner. “I will continue being a strong supporter of small businesses and entrepreneurs.”

A full list of awardees can be found here.

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – Students who participate in a work-based learning experience, like Future Farmers of America or 4-H program competitions or exhibitions, will be able to count the time outside of the classroom as hours of school work thanks to a measure championed by State Senator Doris Turner that was signed into law Monday.

“As a strong supporter of ag education, I advocated for the FFA and 4-H program students who have been jeopardized for missing class to participate in competitions,” said Turner (D-Springfield). “Learning through hands-on experiences, especially in the agriculture industry, is a great way for students to expand their wealth of knowledge.”

Turner’s new law allows students to count hours that they participate in a work-based learning experience as hours of school work. The initiative includes participation in scheduled events of state and national Future Farmers of America associations as well as 4-H programs as part of organized competitions or exhibitions – something Turner strongly advocated for.

Illinois FFA is a youth organization that prepares members for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. 4-H is the largest out-of-school youth organization across the state aimed at teaching practical skills to youth by offering lessons in communications, leadership, career development, livestock, home improvement and computer technology.

“This is one step forward to continue encouraging students to learn about agriculture and what the industry has to offer,” said Turner. “I’m excited for our youth to be able to learn both inside and outside of the classroom.”

House Bill 3814 takes effect Jan. 1, 2024.

Category: Press Releases



SPRINGFIELD – Illinois could see a new state flag under a measure spearheaded by State Senator Doris Turner that was signed into law Monday.

“Illinois’ current flag design has the state seal on it,” said Turner (D-Springfield). “While the state seal represents government, the flag should be a symbol for the people. History is living, breathing and ever evolving and our flag needs to represent what makes Illinois the great state it is.”

Turner’s law creates the Illinois Flag Commission to develop new state flag designs. The commission will make recommendations to the General Assembly deciding whether the current state flag should be replaced with a redesigned state flag. If they decide the flag should be replaced, the commission will report recommendations to the General Assembly by Dec. 3, 2024.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources explains Illinois’ state flag history. There have been two official state flags – the first was adopted in 1915. The second was adopted in 1969, which did not change the original design of the flag but added “Illinois.”

In 2021, Utah passed a similar law creating the Utah State Flag Task Force which provided design toolkits to libraries, schools and other institutions. The task force received around 7,000 flag designs and over 44,000 public comments. According to Utah’s Department of Cultural and Community Engagement, students, educators, families and more were invited to participate in the process of choosing Utah’s new state flag.

“This initiative was designed to promote public involvement and community input,” said Turner. “Let’s get people excited about Illinois!”

Senate Bill 1818 takes effect immediately.

Category: Press Releases


SPRINGFIELD – To encourage community gardening, incentives will be provided for affordable housing projects that incorporate urban and suburban gardening under a new initiative sponsored by State Senator Doris Turner that was signed into law Friday.

“We’ve seen the positive outcomes that come from community gardens,” said Turner (D-Springfield). “There’s an economic benefit that provides residents with the needed tools that they may not get otherwise and engages the community by encouraging people to spend more time outside.”

The new law allows the Illinois Housing Development Authority to develop a program that provides incentives for affordable housing projects that incorporate urban and suburban gardening.

Turner’s law requires IHDA to consult with the University of Illinois on the program, work with the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to facilitate the distribution of produce from the garden, and provide all necessary tools for the garden.

“Food deserts leave people with few options for nutritious meals,” Turner said. “This is a great opportunity to provide fruits and vegetables to the residents who can’t easily access a grocery store.”

House Bill 3892 takes effect immediately.

Category: Press Releases

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Office Info

Capitol Office:
Stratton Office Building
Section F, Room B
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-0228

Decatur Office:
1210 S. Jasper St.
Decatur, IL 62321
(217) 706-5311

725 North Grand Ave. E.
Springfield, IL 62702
(217) 670-1828

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