Legislation allowing Rockford to raise license fees for video gaming machines signed into law


Bill will help Rockford balance budget, hold line on property taxes 

The City of Rockford can raise license fees on video gaming machines thanks to legislation sponsored by State Senator Steve Stadelman that has been signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker.

“Rockford should be allowed to raise a small fee to a modest one,” Stadelman said. “The extra revenue will help the city balance its budget and hold the line on property taxes.”

Senate Bill 1558 was brought to Senator Stadelman by Rockford Mayor Thomas McNamara due to Rockford’s status as a non-home rule municipality, meaning the city needs state approval to raise the fees, unlike similar-sized cities like Peoria, Aurora or Springfield. Currently, non-home rule cities cannot charge more than $25 annually for a video gaming machine license. SB 1558 would raise that limit to $250 in Rockford only. 

"I'm pleased the governor has signed this bill of Senator Stadelman's, making this a reality," Mayor McNamara said. "This brings our fees in line with other municipalities and will provide the city with much needed revenue."

The legislation took effect immediately.

Stadelman bill to stop motorists from watching videos while driving signed by governor

Illinois motorists cannot watch videos while driving as a result of a road safety measure sponsored by State Senator Steve Stadelman and recently signed into law. Senate Bill 86, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2020, clarifies the state's existing hands-free law, which is often looked upon mostly as a ban on cell phones.

Stadelman's legislation emphasizes that drivers are prohibited from using any electronic device -- including laptops, tablets, video games and pagers -- while behind the wheel and that streaming video is expressly forbidden.

"As smart phones get smarter and streaming speeds get faster, more people watch video programming 'on the go' rather than in their living rooms," Stadelman said. "That's fine if you're waiting for a bus or standing in a grocery checkout, but not if you're operating a vehichle. A person driving 70 miles per hour who looks down at their phone for 5 seconds has traveled over 150 yards. The amount of damage you can cause in that distance is far too great for us to not do anything.”

Nine people are killed every day in the United States from distracted driving, according to the Center for Disease Control. Almost 40 percent of unsafe driving behavior monitored by the EverQuote’s EverDrive app was caused by phone use.  

HoopStars returns for 7th year

Sports Factory again hosts free Labor Day youth tourney

Hundreds of boys and girls can spend Labor Day on the basketball court at Senator Stadelman’s HoopStars, a free 3-on-3 tournament taking place for the seventh time Sept. 2. Online registration is open now through game day at, Stadelman announced today. 

The event has drawn as many as 400 players in 3rd through 8th grades. Since 2017, games have taken place on 16 courts at the UW Sports Factory in downtown Rockford.

“As summer ends and the school year begins, our tournament provides a positive, no-cost activity for young athletes,” Stadelman said. “We’ve become a Labor Day tradition for some families, thanks to the continued support of the Rockford Park District and faithful financial contributors like ComEd and Comcast.”  

NO FEES are charged to play in the single-elimination, two-game minimum competition. All players receive free commemorative event T-shirts, and winning teams take home medals. Doors open at 11 a.m. for teams registering late or wanting to warm up before the 1 p.m. start. Parking is free, and refreshments are available for purchase.

Stadelman launched the tournament in 2013, his first year in elected office. The inaugural games took place at Patriots Gateway before moving outdoors to Davis Park.   


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Contact Info

Springfield Office:
Senator 34th District
121A Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8022
District Office:
200 S. Wyman St.
Rockford, IL 61101
(815) 987-7557
(815) 987-7529 FAX