Stadelman requests 'most endangered' status for historic chancery, convent
State Senator Steve Stadelman is asking Illinois' leading preservation agency to place a 90-year-old Catholic chancery, convent and school on Rockford's northwest side on its list of Most Endangered Places, a designation likely to bring wider attention to help save the ornate buildings from demolition.

Never has a Rockford structure been featured since the nonprofit Landmark Illinois first issued the annual list in 1995. The list includes the twice-named Cook County Hospital, where a $1 billion renovation is underway to turn the massive Beau Arts building into a hotel, office and retail space. The 102-year-old hospital shares its architectural style with the chancery, headquarters of the Rockford Catholic Diocese from 1929 until 2002.

Workers hired by the diocese were stripping the chancery of decorative fixtures including chandeliers, wrought-iron gates, windows and the arched wooden doors at its front entrance when municipal officials issued a stop-work order Dec. 19, Stadelman said in his nomination of properties surrounding the Cathedral of St. Peter on what was once known as Piety Hill. The school is slated to close permanently at the end of the academic year, and the diocese had announced plans to raze the chancery while students were on Christmas break.
"The threat is real and imminent," wrote Stadelman, named Legislator of the Year by Landmarks Illinois in 2018. "These buildings are aesthetically and culturally important to the Signal Hill neighborhood."

Stadelman received the award for his work expanding the River Edge historic tax credit to a statewide program from a redevelopment incentive previously available only in Rockford and four other Illinois communities. Local urban renewal efforts benefiting from the tax credit include the Praririe Street Brewhouse and Amerock Embassy Suites, scheduled to open in January 2020 in a long-vacant industrial high-rise on the downtown riverfront.

In advocating for preservation of the Piety Hill campus, Stadelman cited the architectural significance of the three buildings (the school opened in 1921, eight years before the chancery and convent) and applications for local landmark status already filed by a citizens group. Stadelman also noted the number of signatures (currently approaching 3,300) an online petition launched by former Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey and an overture by current Mayor Tom McNamara to work with the diocese to find an alternative to demolition.

Stadelman commends new governor's focus on putting people to work
State Senator Steve Stadelman is encouraged by Gov. JB Pritzker’s efforts to make sure the state’s workforce training programs are putting people to work and identifying new jobs and industries for Illinois’ future.

Pritzker has given state agencies a 90-day deadline to come up with ways for Illinois to better align workforce development programs with employer needs, especially those in emerging industries like renewable energy. The governor issued an executive order calling on the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to compile the recommendations in a report due in April.

Stadelman praised the governor's prompt action and the common-sense strategy of smart use of state and federal resources.

"In all areas of government, we should strive for highest return on our investment," Stadelman said. "In the case of workforce development, we should be teaching people the skills they need in the fields where they can get jobs and should be targeting our most disenfranchised communities."

In case you missed me on Facebook...
Steve Stadelman
January 12 at 7:08 PM ·
Despite the snowstorm, Governor-elect JB Pritzker came to Rockford this afternoon. He stopped at a residence and spoke with Red Cross volunteers who installed life-saving smoke alarms in homes across the city as part of the "Statewide Day of Service."


Category: Week in Review

Stadelman renews push for Rockford casino
Following outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s call for a Chicago-based casino, State Senator and Illinois Senate Gaming Committee Chairman Steve Stadelman announced his commitment to ensuring a state gaming expansion includes a facility in Rockford.
“Additional gaming is an opportunity to create jobs and fund improvements to schools and our crumbling infrastructure,” Stadelman said. “The General Assembly needs to consider what’s best for the whole state, not just Chicago.”
In a recent speech to the Chicago City Council, Mayor Emanuel revealed he has been negotiating a plan to include a casino in Chicago with legislative leaders. Under Emanuel’s proposal, the revenue generated from the facility would be used to pay off the city’s pension debt.
Stadelman also encouraged lawmakers to act quickly due to a casino potentially being built in nearby Beloit, Wisconsin.
“For years, the Rockford community has lost out on the jobs and revenue created by a casino,” Stadelman said. “It’s time to build a diverse coalition of interests to ensure these resources benefit our community – not Wisconsin.”
•   WIFR-23 news report

10 to know: New laws take effect Jan. 1










Rear-facing car seats, blaze pink hunting clothes and required school safety drills are among the subjects contained in new state laws that take effect Jan. 1, 2019.

In all, 253 new laws will be added to Illinois statutes on Jan. 1.

Watch our slide show about the new laws

Factoids about Illinois’ new laws

Browse the full list of new laws

From A (aromatherapy) to Y (yoga): Stadelman's Wellness Fair offered something for every woman

sshealthfair1Women learned about their rights to health insurance, how to find help for food addiction and ways to benefit from low-impact yoga without leaving their desks as part of a new Speakers Series at Senator Stadelman's Women's Wellness Fair 2018.
For the fourth year in a row, women who attended the Dec. 9 event also received an array of free medical and alternative health services from flu and pneumonia immunizations, cholesterol, blood-glucose and Body Mass Index (BMI) readings to Medicare and Medicaid advice, massage demonstrations, skincare consultations and information on weight-loss support groups, healing crystals and chakra stones. Women registered with the Illinois Secretary of State to be organ and tissue donors and with the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program, which provides free exams for women who are uninsured.

Guests also enjoyed harp and flute duo by Emerald Wind and complimentary refreshments including gourmet coffee from Rockford Roasting Company.

"I organize the event annually because uncertainty and confusion continues to surround health care," Stadelman said, "and because everyone deserves affordable options."  
Stadelman said the event would not be possible without the support of the Rockford Park District and the use of Kresge Hall at Riverfront Museum Park. He also credited the 30 nonprofit agencies, local businesses and government offices that again generously provided medical services at no charge along and giveaways ranging from tote bags to toothbrushes to topical analgesics.

Category: Week in Review

Legislature overrides governor's veto of equal pay for African Americans
More than half a century since the federal Civil Rights Act became law, American workers continue to earn different wages based on their race.

According to a 2017 Federal Reserve study, black men and women earn persistently lower wages than their white counterparts -- a wage gap that is widening and cannot be adequately explained by differences in education, age, job type or location.

In 1979, the average black man in the United States earned 80 percent of the wages earned by the average white man. By 2016, that gap had grown to 70 percent. The same is true for black women, who in 1979 earned 95 percent of what white women earned, compared to 82 percent in 2016.

Despite evidence of an expanding gap, Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed House Bill 4743 to prohibit Illinois employers from paying wages to African Americans at a rate less than the rate paid to an employee who is not African American for the same or substantially similar work.

Senator Steve Stadelman was part of a bipartisan effort to reverse the governor's veto in both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly last week. As a result, the African-American Equal Pay Act takes effect Jan. 1, 2019.

Illinois turns 200!
The Prairie State celebrated its bicentennial Monday with a public birthday bash at Navy Pier in Chicago, capping a year full of festivities.

"During the course of 2018, we all had the opportunity to reflect on people and events and that make our state so great -- from the legacies of Presidents Lincoln, Grant, Reagan and Obama to innovations in agriculture and milestones in the advancement of civil rights," State Senator Steve Stadelman said.

Locally, official bicentennial events included parties at the Coronado Performing Arts Center and Rockford City Market honoring the 75th anniversary of the Rockford Peaches, the women's professional baseball team immortalized in the film "A League of Their Own."

In case you missed me on Facebook ...

Steve Stadelman
December 2 at 10:16 PM
Took part in the Blazo 7th Annual Local Celeb Basketball Game. I was definitely out of my league...but had a great time! Thanks to Mike Relerford for the invite and everyone who played and helped out a good cause!










 Steve Stadelman
December 2 at 12:13 PM
Thanks to Janene Stephenson, her group Positive Reflections and all the volunteers and sponsors for organizing last night's Annual Community Holiday Party at Patriots' Gateway Center! They provided 500 toys, free food and great memories for kids and adults!

Category: Week in Review

Chicago Tribune speculates on renewed favor for passenger rail
StadelmanmapMonday's edition of the Chicago Tribune quotes State Senator Steve Stadelman in an article speculating on the likelihood of passenger rail from Chicago to Rockford regaining steam now that Bruce Rauner has been voted out of the governor's office and following overwhelming support for train service in a local referendum.

"It's a popular idea in northern Illinois," Stadelman told the Tribune. " We have a new governor who talked about the importance of transportation infrastructure. I hope he's willing to take a look at the idea."

Stadelman was instrumental in obtaining funding to restore passenger service between Chicago and Rockford, but the project screeched to a halt when Rauner defeated Governor Pat Quinn in 2014. He emphasized in the Tribune column that resurrecting the project again would require both "political will and the financing."

Governor-Elect J.B. Pritzker remains committed to "working across the aisle" to approve a capital spending plan that could provide a source of rail funding, according to the Tribune, which also cited the success in Winnebago and Boone counties this month of a nonbinding referendum calling for passenger rail from Chicago to East Dubuque.

•    WIFR-23 News Report

Senate overturns Rauner vetoes in Week 1 of fall session
The Illinois Senate overrode the governor’s vetoes on several key measures last week, including an attempt to unfairly limit restitution for families of veterans who succumbed to a deadly Legionnaires' disease outbreak in a residential care facility in Quincy. The original legislation, which Rauner tried to block, removes a cap of $100,000 on payouts in civil litigation against the state veterans home.

Also overturned in the Senate was Rauner's rejection of Tobacco 21, which raises the age when people can purchase cigarettes and other tobacco products from 18 to 21. Illinois joins six other states and 20 municipalities within Illinois in the effort to stop young adults from forming a deadly lifetime habit.

Senator Stadelman returns to Springfield after Thanksgiving weekend for the second and final week of the fall veto session.

Category: Week in Review

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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