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R3 program to offer grants to underprivileged communities in Illinois

Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 6:27 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The state of Illinois plans to spend a portion of its recreational cannabis tax revenue to lend a helping hand to communities in need.

"I'm so excited about the R3 program and what is going to do to change and build up our community," said Illinois Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton.

Stratton joins several state leaders in hosting a virtual town hall to share details on the restore reinvest renew program also known as R3.

"The R3 programs work will help us to revive programs and businesses in our underserved neighborhoods and elevate equity and opportunity in our communities," Stratton said.

The program reinvests 25% of the tax revenue from cannabis sales to provide funding to areas harmed by the war on drugs, violence and economic disinvestments.

"I know several people who have criminal records because of marijuana. The war on drugs has failed miserably and it's failed miserably to predominantly black and brown people. It's created criminal records that have followed them for lifetimes," said Rep. Emanuel Chris Welch.

If you take a look at the R3 map, it shows which zones are eligible to use the grant money. Those areas were decided by a team of researchers who reviewed about 3000 census tracks in Illinois.

If you take a look at the R3 map, it shows which zones are eligible to use the grant money.
If you take a look at the R3 map, it shows which zones are eligible to use the grant money.(WIFR)

"They used 4 factors. unemployment, child poverty, gun injuries and commitments to and from the department of corrections. Essentially we landed on more than 700 census tracks that have been impacted deeply by the war on drugs," said Quinn Rallins, Justice Equity & Opportunity Initiative director.

In the Stateline, there are parts of Rockford, Freeport and other surrounding towns who also make the list.

"This funding will be crucial for helping these groups to sustain and to grow their programs," Stratton said.

The last day to apply for the grant is Monday, July 20. You can also find more information by visiting the R3 website.

Copyright 2020 WIFR. All rights reserved.

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