052314CM1590SPRINGFIELD – New legislation by State Senator Steve Stadelman to ease the pain for businesses and employees during tough economic times was signed this afternoon by Governor Pat Quinn.

Senate Bill 3530 changes how unemployment benefits are paid in Illinois, reducing layoffs and improving state finances. With the establishment of "work-share" benefits, employers that find themselves struggling in a weak economy can temporarily reduce hours – rather than lay off workers – and workers can collect partial unemployment compensation while staying on the job part time. In addition, the state saves money that would have been paid to laid-off workers drawing full benefits.

Quinn's signature before the end of 2014 makes Illinois eligible for $4 million from the federal government to pay startup costs for the program.

"The value of work-share cannot be over-emphasized," said Stadelman, D-Rockford. "Employees who otherwise face layoffs gain a sense of security and peace of mind, and businesses avoid the upheaval of letting skilled workers go and retraining new ones."

Known also as "short-time compensation," similar laws have been successfully implemented in 28 other states, including Iowa and Missouri. Under Stadelman's bill, Illinois now offers partial benefits when a business cuts hours among at least 10 percent of its staff and shares the remaining work among affected employees.

Stadelman received praise from business and labor organizations for bringing them together to help draft and earn bipartisan support for SB 3530.

"Illinois manufacturers appreciate Senator Stadelman's leadership in improving the unemployment system for both workers and business," said Mark Denzler, vice president and COO for the Illinois Manufacturers Association. "These reforms relax regulations while allowing for work-share programs that will reduce layoffs."

AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Tim Drea called the legislation a "win-win" that in times of reduced employment lets workers keep job-related benefits and lets companies retain highly-skilled workers. "With all parties working closely with Senator Stadelman, this legislation was crafted to benefit taxpayers, workers and businesses."

Category: Press Releases

112014 js 0407CLROCKFORD – The Illinois General Assembly today passed a bill by Senator Steve Stadelman that would ease the pain for businesses and employees during tough economic times.

If signed by the governor, Senate Bill 3530 would change how unemployment benefits are paid in Illinois, reducing layoffs and potentially saving the state money.

Under the new "shared-work benefits," businesses that find themselves struggling in a weak economy can temporarily reduce hours – rather than lay off workers -- and the workers can collect partial unemployment benefits while staying on the job part time.

"It doesn't happen often enough in government, but everybody wins with this legislation," said Stadelman, D-Rockford. "Businesses get to keep already-trained employees on staff, and employees get to keep their jobs while collecting partial benefits until they return to work full time. The state wins, too, by saving money that would have been paid to laid-off workers drawing full benefits."

Stadelman added that $4 million is available from the federal government to pay startup costs if the bill becomes law this month.

Similar programs, also known as "short-time compensation," have been successfully implemented in 17 other states, including Iowa and Missouri. Under Stadelman's legislation, Illinois would offer partial benefits when an employer cuts hours among at least 10 percent of its staff and shares the remaining work among affected employees.

"The value of work-share plans cannot be over-emphasized," Stadelman said. "Employees who otherwise face layoffs gain a sense of security and peace of mind, and businesses avoid the upheaval of letting skilled workers go and retraining new ones."

Both sides of the General Assembly passed the bill this spring, but House amendments required Senate approval, which occurred today. The bill now awaits the governor's signature.

Category: Press Releases

300pxStadelmanROCKFORD – A bill sponsored by Illinois Senator Steve Stadelman to strengthen the protection of adults in need of a legal guardian was signed by Governor Pat Quinn this week.

Senate Bill 1051 amends the Illinois Probation Act of 1975 by emphasizing that judges consider the welfare of the dependent adult when appointing a guardian. The bill also requires the inclusion of contact information for physicians providing evaluations, reports or opinions on a person's mental or physical disability for the purpose of naming a legal guardian.

"The legislation now specifically states 'best interest and well-being' of the dependent adult shall be the court's main concern in selection of the guardian," said Stadelman, D-Rockford "The goal is to help prevent guardianship from being used in a convenience or retaliatory manner."

Stadelman worked with Sylvia Rudek, director of the National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse, to pass the legislation, which both houses of the Illinois General Assembly approved unanimously. Rudek, who lives in Mouth Prospect, Illinois, was subsequently named by Money Magazine to its "50 Heroes: 50 States" list for her efforts on SB 1051 and other reforms.

"SB 1051 provides clear language along with protections for the elderly and disabled adults of Illinois who are under guardianship," Rudek said. "Senator Stadelman is to be commended for reaching across the aisle and working with Rep. David Harris to gain bipartisan support. NASGA looks forward to working with Senator Stadelman in the future to further protect Illinois seniors and infirm adults."

Category: Press Releases

052314CM1590ROCKFORD – A bill sponsored by Illinois Senator Steve Stadelman that provides for more aggressive prosecution of repeat domestic abusers was signed into law by Governor Pat Quinn this week.

The legislation allows prosecutors to upgrade charges from misdemeanor to felony for offenders with prior convictions for the same or substantially similar violent crimes, even if the prior convictions occurred in other jurisdictions. Prosecutors already had the ability to issue felony charges for abusers whose past offenses occurred in Illinois, but convictions outside Illinois didn't always come into play.

"Domestic violence has a devastating impact that extends beyond the direct victims and that often leaves deep emotional scars," said Stadelman, D-Rockford. "As a community, we need to prevent abuse by having serious consequences for repeat offenses – and it shouldn't matter if an abuser's prior offenses occurred in another state."

Winnebago County State's Attorney Joe Bruscato recommended the change, and Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, sponsored the bill in the House of Representatives.

Category: Press Releases

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Springfield Office:
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