- Published: Friday, June 25, 2021 12:12 PM
I hope you and your family are enjoying the first few weeks of summer!
Below, you’ll find a few important state service updates that might interest you, including information on how to apply for rental assistance, get a discount on internet services and protect yourself against identity theft.
My staff and I are ready to help you navigate these programs, as well as address any other questions or concerns you may have about issues facing our community. I encourage you to reach out to us at (773) 869-9050 or SenatorMunoz.com.
State Senator | 1st District
Illinois Rental Payment Program opens to renters June 28
The Illinois Rental Payment Program offers up to $25,000 or 15 months of assistance to households in Illinois that are behind on rent due to pandemic-related job or wage losses. In order to qualify, tenants and housing providers must submit a joint application with proof of financial hardship as a direct or indirect result of the pandemic. The period for landlords to initiate an application is now closed, but renters can begin the application process starting Monday, June 28. Learn more at IHDA.org/ILRPP.
Fee-based license suspensions and holds to be lifted July 1
Starting July 1, Illinois will no longer suspend a license for any ticket debt, fines or fees, including parking tickets, red-light camera tickets and abandoned vehicle fees. If your license is currently suspended or revoked due to a failure to pay a fee, it will be reinstated automatically for free by July 1. However, if there were multiple reasons for the hold on your record, your license may still be invalid—call the secretary of state’s hotline at 217-212-6212 to check.
Internet service discounts available for low-income families
More than 1.1 million Illinoisans lack access to at-home internet services, which can be a barrier to education and employment. To help close the digital divide, the federal Emergency Broadband Benefit program offers a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible low-income households, plus a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer or tablet. Apply now at FCC.gov/BroadbandBenefit or call 833-511-0311.
Beware of texts, emails soliciting personal information
Over the last several weeks, people across Illinois and the country have reported an uptick in scammers claiming to be from state agencies to steal personal information. Protect yourself from fraud: Never give out your Social Security number or banking information via text or email, and don’t click links contained in suspicious messages. If you have questions about phishing scams or identity theft, call the Illinois Attorney General's Consumer Fraud Hotline at 800-386-5438 or visit FTC.gov/consumer.
Three major rating agencies upgrade Illinois’ financial outlook
This week, Fitch Ratings became the third rating agency to bump up Illinois’ credit, promoting our state’s outlook on Illinois’ General Obligation bonds from negative to positive. Over the past few years, we’ve been working hard to repay outstanding loans and drive down the bill backlog—even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, we passed two balanced budgets and stuck to the path of fiscal responsibility. I’m proud to announce these efforts are paying off. Read more about what this means for Illinois.