ROCKFORD - Under the state’s new modified Stay at Home Order that went into effect today, 60 state parks in Illinois will reopen for recreational outdoor activities, including Rock Cut State Park.

Last week, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources released an initial list of just 25 parks that were set to open. Concerned about the absence of parks within a reasonable travel distance for families in Winnebago County and surrounding communities, State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) began discussions with The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and the Pritzker administration to include Rock Cut State Park.

The Pritzker administration today announced it amended the new Stay at Home Order to include Rock Cut, among other parks.
“Getting outside and enjoying nature is one of the best ways to combat the uncertainty and ease the stress that families are currently under. We need to ensure that every family across Illinois is afforded that same opportunity,” Stadelman said. “I’d like to thank the IDNR and the administration for their good faith discussions and ultimately reopening Rock Cut State Park in Winnebago County.”

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Category: Press Releases

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ROCKFORD - To help local health departments sustain their COVID-19 response efforts in addition to their basic functions, State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) and other downstate Senate Democrats are pushing to double state funding to support local health departments for the coming year.

The plan would increase funding for Local Health Protection Grants to $36 million in the state’s next budget, which Stadelman agrees is key to opening up the economy.

“Winnebago County’s recovery from COVID-19 will definitely need a fully staffed and better funded health department, and I think it’s safe to say that nearly all 100 other local health departments are in the same situation,” Stadelman said. “We need these departments operating as efficiently as possible if we want to reopen our state and local economies.”

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Category: Press Releases

CDC COVID 19 test kit

ROCKFORD – This afternoon, State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) praised the Illinois Department of Public Health’s decision to open a community-based testing site in Rockford to help test Illinoisans for COVID-19. The site will open this Friday, April 24 and will be located at 1601 Parkview Ave., on the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford campus.

“As we have all heard from leading health experts, testing is the essential first step in combatting and eventually eradicating COVID-19,” Stadelman said. “With the opening of this new testing site, the Rockford area will be better equipped to halt the spread of this disease.”

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Category: Press Releases

Stad

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 Office:
Senator 34th District
121A Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8022
 
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200 S. Wyman St., Suite 301
Rockford, IL 61101
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