Lobbyist Update: What’s on the Horizon for Jacksonville

Jeff Torricelli, Jacksonville’s lobbyist, has a background of more than twenty years of legislative and economic development experience—working with state agencies, serving most recently as a senior policy advisor on economic development at DCEO, and making connections throughout the area.  Today, Jeff works with government agencies and private sector companies through his own firm where he can utilize those skills to help communities like Jacksonville grow.

In an on-going effort, Torricelli has been focused on getting SB 341 moved through both the Senate (which it has now passed) and into the House. This bill focuses on re-development tax credits for properties like the now empty Jacksonville Developmental Center and other vacated properties (14 total) throughout the state of Illinois. Currently, the bill is being amended to iron out the details of the new surplus property policy set for passage hopefully during the upcoming spring legislative Session.

Torricelli has also collaborated recently on putting together a strategy for city projects including the Town Brook, the closure of the landfill, as well as coordinating efforts to attract businesses to the Jacksonville area. Many people from the community help make these lobbying efforts gain traction, including Mayor Andy Ezard. “Andy has been great at being there every step of the way—he’s spoken at the Capitol with key legislators on behalf of the City…he’s a Mayor that really cares about the direction his community is going,” Torricelli said

” Torricelli said.  “Torricelli also applauds the city council for their efforts in making him aware of what the City’s needs are.”

One of the major projects Torricelli has been working on in past months is FutureGen 2.0, which recently announced it has been cleared by the U.S. Department of Energy as a clean coal project. The retrofitted plant in Meredosia will pipe liquid carbon dioxide to an underground storage site below Route 123. Progress made in the economic development department means success for the entire region.

As for a normal day, much of the lobbying footwork takes place outside the office walls. Agency meetings, days spent at the Capitol, and communication with community partners means that Jeff spends a lot of time at meetings and networking with relevant partners. However, he feels this role is a good fit. “There’s a lot of synergy from my past roles that make this job a good fit for me today,” he explained.

While some of the day-to-day work at Torricelli’s office involves a long process with many details, the gist of his work is this: Make Jacksonville an even better place to work, raise a family, and own a business and he is proud to represent the City.

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