Stadelman expansion of River Edge Tax Credit signed into law

07272018CM0660Legislation expanding an economic development tool known as the River Edge Tax Credit was signed into law by the governor today. The proposal, Senate Bill 3527, was passed through the General Assembly by State Senator Steve Stadelman earlier this spring. While the tax credit was previously available in downtown Rockford, Aurora, Peoria, Elgin and East St. Louis, the new law expands it across the entire state.

“This tax credit has been a vital tool to spur the economic growth of downtown Rockford,” Stadelman said. “I’m excited about the possibilities that await our state by expanding this credit statewide.”
The credit is equal to 25 percent of the rehabilitation costs for a business in a historic building, with a limit of $15 million total per year that will be administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources on a first-come first-serve basis. The program will expire at the end of 2023.  
In Rockford, it has been used to incentivize projects like the $12 million renovation at the Prairie Street Brewhouse. Now that it has been signed, Senate Bill 3527 is effective immediately.

Roll-out of automatic voter signup under way

State officials continue to fine tune the roll-out of automatic voter registratio n in Illinois, an initiative advanced by Senate Democrats with bipartisan support. Under the newest phase of the law’s implementation, which began July 1, those who contact a state driver services facility will be notified of their current voter registration status and asked whether they would like to update their information. Illinois must implement standards laid out by the federal Real ID law before AVR can be finalized, a process Secretary of State Jesse White has said will be complete in October.

Learn more about automatic voter registration.

In case you missed me on Facebook ...

 
Steve Stadelman
July 17 at 11:25 AM ·
Honored to present an Illinois Senate Recognition to the Rockford and Vicinity Baptist District Association! It's 40th Annual Session is taking place this week. Congratulations!
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Category: Week in Review

Funding for Rock Valley College renovation released

State Senator Steve Stadelman announced the release this month of $9.2 million for the construction of Classroom Building 1 at Rock Valley College. The release of funds by the Illinois Comptroller's Office reimburses RVC for the state's contribution toward remodeling of the classrooms, which began in 2015 but was stopped due to the budget stalemate. In 2016, the college restarted construction using its own finances.

“The two-year budget impasse negatively impacted every community in our state by delaying payments for vital services and halting money for important capital projects, like this one at Rock Valley College,” Stadelman said. “I’m pleased the state is finally keeping its commitment to Rock Valley College as it continues to improve the learning environment for students and staff in the Rockford community.”

Renovation of the 61,000-square-foot structure included upgrading plumbing, lighting and electrical work and building a two-story, 21,000-square-foot addition.

New fiscal year brings new state laws

stadelmancapitalJuly brings the beginning of a new fiscal year for the state, and several measures passed by the legislature and signed into law take effect on July 1. The most notably of the new laws, which was supported by State Senator Steve Stadelman, addresses Illinois' teacher shortage.
Rural and downstate school districts will have more tools to help overcome the challenges of a statewide teacher shortage under the that is based on input from Illinois educators. Among other things, the measure slashes red tape to encourage educators outside of Illinois to apply for hard-to-fill jobs here, creates a short-term substitute teaching license and allows downstate retired teachers to substitute in classrooms without jeopardizing their retirement benefits.

Other laws effective July 1 - click on each bill number to read more:

SB 312 Requires any entity selling "catfish" products to disclose on the packaging, menu or wherever applicable the fish's country of origin. The concern is food establishments offering swai fish (Pangasiidae family) as catfish (Ictaluridae family) without informing customers.
SB 1223 Requires school districts to have an accelerated placement policy that allows students to be referred and evaluated for possible early entrance to kindergarten or 1st grade, acceleration in a single subject, compacted curriculum, grade acceleration, grade telescoping or early high school graduation.
HB 303 Reforms the civil asset forfeiture process; places the burden of proof in forfeiture cases on the prosecution, instead of the property owner.
HB 2453 Requires the Department of Revenue to transfer funds directly from sales taxes into the Downstate Public Transportation Fund instead of first being deposited by the Comptroller into the General Revenue Fund.  
HB 2963 Creates the Entity Omnibus Act, which takes the conversion and domestication processes out of various acts affecting business entities.

Category: Week in Review

130 attend Second Chances Summit; repeat event being planned for 2019

Two dozen volunteer attorneys provided free legal assistance to 130 people hoping to expunge or seal their criminal records, opening the door for them to obtain better jobs, find better places to live or go back to school. Interest in the first Second Chances Summit was so high that a second annual event is likely to occur next year.

More than 400 people initially signed up, and 150 completed the registration process by obtaining fingerprint background checks. Attorneys reviewed the results of those checks, discussed them with summit attendees and drafted the necessary documents to request judicial relief for those determined to be eligible under Illinois law. Eligibility depends on the type of offense and length of time without a subsequent charge.

"If you listened to the stories of any of the people who attended the summit, you quickly realize they are haunted for years or even decades by a past transgression that often wasn't a serious enough offense to even warrant jail time," State Senator Steve Stadelman said. "As a result, they've been underemployed and lack the financial resources to engage a lawyer. In extending a hand up to them, we are lifting our community as a whole."

In addition to the attorneys who gave up their Saturday and offered their services at no charge, several local law firms donated funds to offset the cost of fingerprinting. Summit attendees, who normally would have paid $50, obtained the Illinois State Police report for $20. During the summit at the Nordlof Center in downtown Rockford, attendees also could register to vote, apply for a library card and learn about employment opportunities and job retraining programs.

Stadelman organized the summit in partnership with Prairie State Legal Services, Rockford Public Library and United Way of Rock River Valley.
•    WTVO-17 broadcast
•    WIFR-23 broadcast
•    Rockford Register Star article

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Equifax breach prompts Illinois to take action

Illinois consumers no longer will be forced to pay to freeze their credit reports so they can protect themselves against identity theft thanks to a new law supported by State Senator Steve Stadelman. The law is a response to the massive Equifax data breach between May and July 2017. As many as 143 million Americans, including 5.4 million Illinois residents, may have been affected by the theft of private consumer information.

One way consumers can protect themselves from fraud is to freeze their credit reports.

During a freeze, no new credit may be issued under their name and Social Security number. Until now, credit reporting agencies had been allowed to charge Illinois consumers up to $10 each time they asked to freeze or unfreeze their reports. Under the new law, credit reporting agencies are barred from charging Illinois consumers to freeze their reports. The new law also helps consumers prevent or minimize damage to their credit by allowing them to place or lift a credit electronically or over the phone

In case you missed me on Facebook ...  

Steve Stadelman
June 15 at 2:28 PM ·
Played in the inaugural bi-state softball showdown between the Illinois and Missouri General Assemblies at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Even though I'm a die-hard Cubs fan, it was a thrill to play in the Cardinals ballpark. Unfortunately, we lost 7-4. Oh well, there's always next year.

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Category: Week in Review

McNamara joins Stadelman on behalf of River Edge Tax Credit
 
rockfordmayorRockford Mayor Tom McNamara joined State Senator Steve Stadelman in the Illinois Senate Revenue Committee to testify in support of legislation to making investing in downtown Rockford easier for developers. Senate Bill 3527, introduced by Stadelman, adjusts River Edge Zones in Rockford, Aurora, East St. Louis, Elgin and Peoria to provide additional incentives for redeveloping these communities.
 
“These tax credits have a proven record of spurring economic growth in areas like downtown Rockford,” Stadelman said. “These additional changes will promote even more economic development in our communities.”
 
Under Stadelman’s proposal, developers would be eligible for a one-time 25 percent credit of the eligible expenses of the project. They would also be subject to additional oversight to ensure they qualify for the tax credits.
Stadelman's bill will now be heard by the Illinois House of Representatives, having been approved by the full Senate this week.

Stadelman proposal to educate students on college debt advances

College students would be able to make more informed decisions about financing their education under a measure State Senator Steve Stadelman passed this week. Stadelman’s proposal, Senate Bill 2559, creates a three-year pilot program that requires each public university and community college to send an annual letter detailing the current loan and annual repayment amounts to all students with college loans.

“Every year, thousands of Illinois students graduate from college and are faced with tens of thousands of dollars in student loans. For many of these students, it’s the first time they completely realize the full expense of their education,” Stadelman said. “This proposal ensures students know up-front how much they will owe and gives them the information to make smart financial decisions early to save money in the long run.”

Student loan debt in the United States has skyrocketed from $833 billion to an all-time high of $1.4 trillion, according to recent studies. On average, college students graduate with more than $34,000 in debt, up 62 percent in the last decade.
In 2012, Indiana University began sending new and returning students a letter projecting the amount of debt they were expected to graduate with, along with what their monthly payments would be. After implementing this system, the university saw a decline in the amount of education loans taken out by students. The state of Indiana passed a similar law to cover all state universities and community colleges in 2015.

Stadelman’s bill passed the full Senate with a vote of 51-1. It will now move to be heard in the Illinois House of Representatives.

Stadelman delivers state honors for RAMI winners

StadelmanbandFor a fourth consecutive year, State Senator Steve Stadelman awarded Certificates of Recognition from the Illinois Senate to recipients of the annual Rockford Area Music Industry awards. Stadelman also presented RAMIs in the People's Choice category for Special Event and Artist of the Year, the later going to the band On My Six, whose members -- Stu Kuhlman, Rick Soeprasetyo, Joshua Creviston, Daniel Adams and Lucas Dwyer -- are pictured with Stadelman backstage.

Category: Week in Review

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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
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