SB 57State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) secured passage of legislation today allowing domestic violence victims to continue using their cell phone plans after separating from their abusers.

“One of the reasons people stay in abusive relationships is financial dependence,” Stadelman said. “This legislation removes the roadblock of having to find the money to set up a new phone plan. Anything we can do to make it easier to leave is a positive step.”

The measure requires wireless providers to transfer the right to continue to use phone numbers on an account the victim shares with the abuser. Similar legislation was recently enacted in California, Missouri, Indiana and Wisconsin.

“As we know, cell phones have become nearly essential in modern life,” Stadelman said. “This legislation allows men and women leaving abusive situations to keep their photos, addresses, contacts and emails, and to continue using their phone to seek housing and employment.”

The measure amends current law to allow victims to petition the court for the right to continue use of a phone number as part of a petition for an order of protection.

SB 57 passed unanimously in the Senate and will move to the House for consideration.


Category: Press Releases

title 1 fundingState Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) secured passage of legislation today that will protect federal funding for the Rockford public school district.

The measure, effective July 1, ensures federal funds meant for Title 1 programs go to help low-income children rather than paying into teachers’ pensions and could free up millions of federal dollars for Rockford public schools.

“Right now, school districts are being required to use federal funds that are meant to go to students to pay down the state’s pension debt,” Stadelman said. “This disproportionately affects at-risk students in the districts that need help the most.”

The legislation allows school districts to pay into federally funded teachers’ pensions at the same rate as all other teachers, cutting the districts’ contribution rate from 45 percent to 7 percent. Individual teachers’ pensions would not be affected.

Dr. Ehren Jarrett, Rockford Public Schools Superintendent, testified in committee in favor of the legislation last month.

“What we’re advocating for is to let those federal dollars go to what the teachers and the principals in those schools say they need most, which is support for struggling students,” Jarrett said. “This is an opportunity for equity for those schools.”

Title 1 funding provides federal assistance to school districts with high percentages of low-income students to make sure their educational needs are met. Schools can use the funds for schoolwide programs or programs targeted at individual students, but they are intended to bring students up to the state’s academic standards.

SB 0195 passed unanimously in the Senate and will move to the House for consideration.

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) has scheduled three Town Hall meetings to listen to concerns of the citizens he represents and answer questions about Illinois’ budget process and legislation pending in Springfield. A representative from the state’s I-Cash program will be available April 11 and 18 to conduct data base searches for Illinois residents who may be eligible for millions of dollars in unclaimed funds. The Town Hall meetings will be held at the following locations and times:

Tuesday, April 11
5:30-7 PM
Rockford Public Library – Montague Branch
Constance V. Lane Community Room
1238 S. Winnebago St.
Rockford, IL

Thursday, April 13
5:30-7 PM
Machesney Park Village Hall
300 Roosevelt Road
Machesney Park, IL

Tuesday, April 18
5:30-7 PM
Rockford Public Library – East Branch
Community Room
6685 E. State St.
Rockford, IL

 

Category: Press Releases

stadelman0330State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) introduced legislation in committee this week that would protect the rights of consumers to leave honest online reviews of products and services without fear of retaliation.

The measure prevents companies and service providers from enforcing non-disparagement clauses included in sales contracts. Such clauses typically include language that prohibits consumers from leaving negative feedback about the retailer. Oftentimes, particularly online, a consumer must accept the terms of a contract before completing a purchase.

“Although I understand that businesses don’t want to be unfairly criticized, it is important to protect the right of the consumer to voice their opinion,” Stadelman said. “In many cases, people might not even realize they signed a non-disparagement agreement until a company takes action against them.”  

Only two states – California and Maryland – have laws in place banning non-disparagement clauses. Illinois has general consumer protection laws in place that prohibit unfair business practices and fraud but do not specifically address non-disparagement clauses.

SB 1898 passed the Senate judiciary committee on Tuesday and will move to the full Senate for consideration.

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.
Rockford, IL 61101
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