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ROCKFORD – A law passed by State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) could be used to ease the pain for businesses and employees during the tough economic times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It will also allow Illinois to take advantage of millions of dollars in federal funding designed to reimburse states for their work share programs. However, former Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration never wrote the rules needed to implement the law.

The law changed how unemployment benefits are paid in Illinois, potentially reducing layoffs and improving state finances. It created "work-share" benefits, which are meant to assist struggling employers, allowing them to temporarily reduce employee hours rather than lay off workers. At the same time, workers can collect partial unemployment compensation while staying on the job part-time. This program would also help the state save money by not having to pay full benefits for employees drawing from unemployment.

"The value of work-share cannot be over-emphasized," Stadelman said. "In this uncertain time, employees who otherwise face layoffs would gain a sense of security, and businesses would avoid having to let skilled workers go."

Research from the Illinois Economic Policy Institute estimate it could prevent up to 124,000 in COVID-19 related layoffs in the state, and would also save state over $1 billion dollars in unemployment insurance payments.

According to Frank Manzo of the Illinois Economic Policy Institute, the federal government will fully reimburse any state for their work share program. “Under the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package, the federal government is, with some stipulation, fully reimbursing states for their work share programs,” Manzo said in an article from April 7. “It is free money for the states that currently have these programs.”

“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,” Stadelman said.

Similar laws are in place in 29 other states. Under the law, Illinois would offer partial benefits when a business cuts hours for at least 10% of its staff and shares the remaining work among affected employees.

At a Thursday news conference Gov. JB Pritzker said he supports the workforce. Stadelman is now urging the Pritzker administration to write the rules needed for his work share measure to go into full effect to assist businesses and employees during this trying time. ​

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) announced today that local governments and community groups are now able to apply for a nearly $80 million grant to update critical infrastructure and spur economic development in the Rockford area.

“The money provided from these grants is a great economic opportunity for our local communities,” Stadelman said. “I applaud DCEO for using this program to not only make much needed improvements to our infrastructure, but also create new jobs in the process.”

The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will allow communities and stakeholders to apply for these funds. It will distribute the funds to local governments, not-for-profits, economic development groups and even private businesses, which will create new job and economic opportunities.

DCEO has allocated $50 million for public infrastructure investments (available only to local governments), $16.5 million for regional economic development projects and $13 million ready-to-go for construction projects. Potential projects also include improvements to utility lines and waste disposal systems, land and building acquisition, and architectural planning and engineering design.

Applications for public infrastructure grants must be submitted by June 30, but others will be accepted on a rolling basis. Available grants, project guidelines and application materials can be found here.

For additional information on these funds, prospective applicants can visit DCEO’s website here. Interested parties can send questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 217-785-6174.


 

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) is taking action to ensure that local journalism survives in Illinois’ small towns and mid-sized cities.

“As a former journalist and news anchor, I know how important it is to have access to truly local news,” Stadelman said. “People deserve to know what’s happening in their communities, regardless of where they live.”

Senate Bill 3457 would create the Local Journalism Task Force, which would be made up of 10 individuals representing print and broadcast media, journalism schools, and state and local government. They would be charged with conducting a study on communities underserved by local journalism and making recommendations on how to preserve and restore news coverage in these areas.

“Your address should not dictate the quality and type of information you have access to,” Stadelman said. “This measure is meant to start a conversation and provide new ideas to help address shrinking press coverage in local communities.”

Declines in advertising revenue and circulation have meant that nearly half of the newsroom jobs at newspapers that existed in 2004 have since disappeared—and more than 2,000 thousand papers around the country have closed over the past 15 years.

If passed, the task force would be required to submit the findings from its study to the governor’s office, as well as the General Assembly, no later than January 1, 2022.


 

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) has introduced a bill that would make a civil no contact order permanent if an individual is criminally convicted of sexual assault.

Under current law, sexual assault survivors must see their alleged assailants in court every 2 years to renew their no contact orders.

“Survivors of sexual assault have to live day in and day out with the trauma caused by assault,” Stadelman said. “The least we can do to help them, is not to force them to relive their trauma every 2 years.”

The legislation is an initiative of the City of Rockford.

“If an individual believes that it’s in the best interest of their safety to extend an order of no contact against their criminally convicted perpetrator, they should have the right to do so,” Stadelman said. “People should have the right to feel safe in their daily lives without having to endlessly go to court.”

The City of Rockford worked with the Rockford Sexual Assault Counsel (RSAC), which suggested the lifetime order of protection. Similar protections are already in place for stalking victims.

Senate Bill 3617 awaits a Senate committee assignment.


 

Category: Press Releases

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Springfield Office:
Senator 34th District
121A Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
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Rockford, IL 61101
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