(20 ILCS 2421/25)
Set-aside funds; Blind Vendors Trust Fund.
(a) The Department may provide, by rule, for set-asides similar to those provided in Section 107d-3 of the Randolph-Sheppard Act. If any funds are set aside, or caused to be set aside, from the net proceeds of the operation of vending facilities by blind vendors, the funds shall be set aside only to the extent necessary in a percentage amount not to exceed that determined jointly by the Director and the Committee and published in State rule, and that these funds may be used only for the following purposes: (1) maintenance and replacement of equipment; (2) purchase of new equipment; (3) construction of new vending facilities; (4) funding the functions of the Committee, including legal and other professional services; and (5) retirement or pension funds, health insurance, paid sick leave, and vacation time for blind licensees, so long as these benefits are approved by a majority vote of all Illinois licensed blind vendors that occurs after the Department provides these vendors with information on all matters relevant to these purposes.
(b) No set-aside funds shall be collected from a blind vendor when the monthly net proceeds of that vendor are less than $1,000. This amount may be adjusted annually by the Director and the Committee to reflect changes in the cost of living.
(c) The Department shall establish, with full participation by the Committee, the Blind Vendors Trust Fund as a separate account managed by the Department for the State's blind vendors.
(d) Set-aside funds collected from the operation of all vending facilities administered by the Business Enterprise Program for the Blind shall be placed in the Blind Vendors Trust Fund, which shall include set-aside funds from facilities on federal property. The Fund must provide separately identified sub-accounts for moneys from (i) federal and (ii) State and other facilities, as well as vending machine income generated pursuant to Section 30 of this Act. These funds shall be available until expended and shall not revert to the General Revenue Fund or to any other State account.
(e) It is the intent of the General Assembly that the expenditure of set-aside funds authorized by this Section shall be supplemental to any current appropriation or other moneys made available for these purposes and shall not constitute an offset of any previously existing appropriation or other funding source. In no way shall this imply that the appropriation for the Blind Vendors Program may never be decreased, rather that the new funds shall not be used as an offset.
(f) An amount equal to 10% of the wages paid by a blind vendor to any employee who is blind or has another disability shall be deducted from any set-aside charge paid by the vendor each month, in order to encourage vendors to employ blind workers and workers with disabilities and to set an example for industry and government. No deduction shall be made for any employee paid less than the State or federal minimum wage.
(Source: P.A. 99-143, eff. 7-27-15.)