Veterans can get "quick certification" for special driver's licenses at Stadelman event

Military veterans who wish to obtain Illinois driver's licenses that note their service in the armed forces may obtain the necessary paperwork at a Veterans Day event offered by State Senator Steve Stadelman and the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs.

Coffee and donuts are being served at the Veterans Day Quick Certification from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, Nov. 10, in the Zeke Giorgi Center Lobby, 200 S. Wyman St.

To receive a driver's license with "VETERAN" appearing below the signature line, veterans must present official certification of their military status when renewing their license or applying for a state ID. Under legislation passed by Stadelman in 2015, veterans who present a driver's license with the designation qualify for discounts on purchases at participating businesses. The designation is also available on state identifications cards.

"Veterans can avoid the delay of a mail application or a trip to the Illinois National Guard Armory in Machesney Park," Stadelman said. "Providing this convenience is a small way to honor vets, especially those who live in or near downtown Rockford and tend to have a harder time accessing services."

Two state Veteran Service Officers, Matthew Taylor and Jessica Parker, will certify proper documentation of military service -- DD Form 214 or NA Form 13038. Veterans, especially reservists who need additional paperwork, are advised to review documentation requirements online at www.Illinois.gov/veterans before attending the event, although assistance in obtaining necessary paperwork will be available on site.


Senate reaffirms support for students, workers
The Illinois Senate rejected several gubernatorial vetoes last week, reaffirming their support for college students, collective bargaining and entrepreneurs.

Senator Steve Stadelman voted in favor of all three overrides:
•    Collective Bargaining Freedom Act to protects worker rights by blocking Gov. Bruce Rauner’s campaign to create municipal right-to-work zones that favor corporate profits over worker interests.
 
•    The entrepreneur learner’s permit program, a pilot initiative to encourage business growth by reimbursing first-time business owners in information services, biotechnology and green technology for some costs of state licensing and permits. In an amendatory veto, the governor removed a spending cap and expanded the program to all industries, which Stadelman and others believe would turn a smart business development into a potentially wasteful program.
•    Student Loan Bill of Rights , a measure that will help to protect college students from predatory lenders when they borrow money to pay for their education.
The Senate returns to Springfield  next week  for the second half of the fall veto session.

Citizens Utility Board advises TV consumers on viewing options in the Internet Age
stadelmancubPay-TV consumers received tips for making their cable bills more affordable and learned the pros and cons of market alternatives like satellite and web streaming at a free presentation led by an expert from the Citizens Utility Board. Senator Steve Stadelman invites CUB to work one-on-one with utility customers to lower their bills at twice-yearly clinics; this week's event marked the first time CUB has offered advice on television costs to Rockford-area consumers. Those who missed the presentation can order copies of "CUB's Guide to Cutting Your TV Costs" online.

Category: Week in Review

'Wellness fair' offers array of free services for women

wellnessfairloglWomen can obtain referrals for free mammograms and screenings for cervical cancer, free vaccinations for influenza, pneumonia and shingles, blood pressure readings, Body Mass Index (BMI) calculations and more at a Women's Wellness Fair organized by State Senator Steve Stadelman.

Other services available at no charge include blood-glucose, cholesterol and HIV testing, depression and anxiety screenings, massage demonstrations and skincare consultations. Medicare enrollment advisers and weight-loss support groups also will be on hand.

Harp and flute duo Emerald Wind will perform; Rockford Roasting Company, E-Z Dinners and Dragon Popcorn will provide refreshments. Admission and parking are free for the event from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, November 12, in Kresge Hall at Riverfront Museum Park, 711 N. Main St. in Rockford.

"Health care, especially for women, remains a central public policy concern," said Stadelman, who began the annual event in 2015. "I believe very strongly that a woman's ability to pay should never stand in the way of her receiving basic health care -- especially preventive care."

Stadelman backs two laws to increase early detection of breast cancer

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and State Senator Steve Stadelman has been working to reduce breast cancer in Illinois by supporting legislation that removes barriers to early detection and advanced medical care.

Stadelman supported a measure this year to require insurance companies to cover an MRI if a patient is diagnosed with dense breast tissue. Studies show that dense breast tissue can be up to six times more likely to develop cancer. An MRI can find an additional 8 percent of breast cancers that go undetected by mammograms and ultrasounds.
The measure became law and will go into effect Jan. 1, 2018.

Stadelman also support legislation that since mid-2016 has required insurance companies to cover 3D mammograms. The technology, also known as tomosynthesis, takes a multidimensional view of the breast during a screening, rather than a single-dimension view. As a result, 3D mammography more accurately screens for breast cancer than standard mammography.
Nationally, one in every eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. It's the second leading cause of cancer death in women. According to a study by the Illinois Department of Public Health, 26 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in Illinois every day

Category: Week in Review

Governor signs four Stadelman bills into law

New Stadelman law protects patients from missing vital medications

stadelman press conference on emergency rx rIllinois pharmacists now have the discretion to dispense vital medication to patients when a refill isn't immediately available through a doctor under a law signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Stadelman discussed the legislation at a news conference Thursday at the University of Illinois College of Pharmacy in Rockford. Senate Bill 1790 gives pharmacists the ability to refill a doctor's prescription in emergencies when the pharmacist believes disrupting medication would harm the patient.

Joining Stadelman for the announcement was his son Nikolas, a Type 1 diabetic whose close call while on a family vacation at Yellowstone National Park provided the impetus for the legislation. Nikolas Stadelman, a Guilford High School sophomore who was 13 at the time, recounted how he coped without insulin for 36 hours when his parents' best efforts to refill his prescription over the weekend were unsuccessful.

"I swam and did push-ups to try to lower my blood sugar," he said. "I know I'm not the only one who has gone through an emergency like this."

Stadelman praised the Illinois Medical Society and Illinois Pharmacy Association for helping draft legislation that addressed industry concerns and put patients' interests first and spare others the worry and possible medical jeopardy of going without critical prescriptions. Safeguards in the new law include:

•    Emergency refills only can be issued at a pharmacy that has previously dispensed a prescription for the same patient and same medicine.
•    Pharmacists must determine that a disruption of the medicine would be medically harmful or painful for the patient.
•    Controlled substances are excluded and refills cannot be issued for a period longer than 30 days.

"Pharmacists are essential members of the patient's health-care team," said Garrett Reynolds, a practicing pharmacist and association executive director. "SB1790 recognizes the pharmacist’s vital contribution in the patient-pharmacist-physician partnership."

Governor signs Stadelman bill preserves tax incentive for redevelopment

river edge signing rState Senator Steve Stadelman traveled to Aurora to attend a bill signing to continue the popular River Edge Historic Preservation Tax Credit until 2022. Sponsored by Stadelman, the legislation protects an important economic revitalization tool for downtown Rockford. Gov. Bruce Rauner's signature extends the program for four years beyond its current expiration Jan. 1, 2018.

Aurora is one of four cities besides Rockford to benefit from the credit, equal to 25 percent of the costs for a business to rehabilitate an historic building. Peoria, Elgin and East St. Louis are also included in the River Edge legislation. In Rockford, the tax credit has helped make possible numerous urban redevelopment projects including the $12 million transformation of the Prairie Street Brewhouse.

"The River Edge tax credit turns vacant buildings into marketable properties and creates jobs," Stadelman said. "In this era of hyper-partisan tension, it is reassuring to see overwhelming bipartisan support for a measure that spurs economic growth in places like downtown Rockford."

Stadelman ‘right to Yelp’ measure becomes law

Legislation protecting the rights of consumers to leave honest online reviews of products and services without fear of retaliation has been signed into law Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The measure, sponsored by Senator Steve Stadelman, 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.”
 
With this law, Illinois joins two other states – California and Maryland – in banning non-disparagement clauses.

Abuse victims get ability to switch phone plans under new Stadelman law

Domestic violence victims to continue using their cell phone plans after separating from their abusers under a bill sponsored by State Senator Steve Stadelman and signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

As a result, abuse victims now can ask a judge for the right to continue use of a phone number as part of a petition for an order of protection. If granted, wireless providers will be required to give control of joint cellular accounts to the victim. Similar legislation was recently enacted in California, Missouri, Indiana and Wisconsin.

“One of the reasons people stay in abusive relationships is financial dependence,” Stadelman said. “As we know, cell phones have become nearly essential in modern life. This legislation removes the roadblock of having to find money to set up a new phone plan, so women or men leaving abusive situations can more easily find housing and employment can keep their photos, addresses, contacts and emails"
.
WATCH VIDEO of Senator Stadelman discussing the legislation.

Category: Week in Review

Local Superintendents: Override Rauner on school funding reform

08112017EM0021 rArea school superintendents joined forces for a news conference Friday to urge state lawmakers to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's "amendatory" veto of legislation to make education funding fair in Illinois. They said the effort to reform the way Illinois distributes money to schools, considered the most inequitable in the nation, has waited too long and come too far to fail now.

Senate Bill 1 would award money to schools on an evidence-based formula that shifts the burden away from local property taxes and levels the playing field between wealthy and poor communities. Rauner's veto of the legislation caused the state to miss payments to schools this week, a first in Illinois history.
 
"The cost of delay is unacceptable," Rockford School Superintendent Ehren Jarrett said. "Senate Bill 1 is right for Illinois and right for Rockford public schools. I feel that unequivocally."

Among the flaws in Rauner's rewrite of the legislation, Jarrett said, is its failure to account for revenue lost in communities with Tax Increment Financing. With 34 TIF districts in Rockford, Jarrett estimates the loss to public schools at well more than $1 million annually.

Jarrett was joined by the Harlem, Hononegah and Belvidere superintendents and private advocates including the League of Women Voters.

"Senate Bill 1 is a win for the entire state and will be an historic fix for Illinois' long-broken funding system." Harlem School Superintendent Julie Morris said.

State Senator Steve Stadelman said he expects the Illinois Senate to easily override Rauner in a special session Sunday. But for the House to follow suit, a handful of Republicans must cross the aisle and reject the governor's amendments.

"There are over 100 changes that I would argue amounts to a complete rewrite of the bill and possibly an unconstitutional overreach," Stadelman said.

Listen to Senator Stadelman's full remarks
  
HoopStars moves to Sports Factory

Premiere venue offers quicker pace for tourney and room to grow

State Senator Steve Stadelman is again expanding his popular Labor Day basketball tournament, this time by moving to UW Health Sports Factory where boys and girls can compete in air-conditioned comfort and practice on warm-up courts.
 
Shorter waits between games also are expected when the 3-on-3 tournament crosses over from Davis Park, its home for three of the last four years. The event has drawn as many as 400 players in 3rd through 8th grades.
 
There is no cost to enter. Registration is open until Sept. 1 at www.senatorstadelman.com/hoopstars.
 
“Part of me will miss the street-tournament feel of being outdoors, but the benefits of a brand new, marquee facility right across the Rock River are undeniable,” Stadelman said. “Without the continued support of the Rockford Park District and faithful financial contributors like ComEd and Comcast, this positive, end-of-summer activity for kids simply wouldn’t be possible.”
 
Stadelman said the event, which started in 2013 at Patriots Gateway, had outgrown the 10 makeshift courts at Davis Park.  With 16 courts now available, total play time in the single-elimination, two-game-minimum tournament should drop to four or five hours from six or more. Parents will find parking much easier, among other advantages of the new location.
                                                                                               
All players receive free commemorative event T-shirts, and winning teams take home medals. Event sponsors operate interactive courtside information booths with giveaways, and refreshments are available for purchase.

Games start at 1 p.m. Sept. 4 with doors opening at noon.

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