SPRINGFIELD – An effort to aid students in low-income communities in Illinois, including Rockford, through private funding passed the Senate today. State Sen. Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) co-sponsored the measure creating the Lincoln Promise Zones Act giving local governments the authority to establish Promise Zones and raise the necessary funding.

"A Promise Zone will give incentive for families of all financial backgrounds to stay or relocate in Rockford," Stadelman continued. "Rockford Public School commissioned Northern Illinois University to determine the return of investment in promise zones and NIU found that for every dollar invested in the Rockford College-for-All program, an estimated $132 would be generated in supplemental lifetime earnings."

Rockford joins East St. Louis and Aurora in the pilot program for Promise Zones in Illinois over the next five years. Each of the three communities will create a board made up of local educators, business leaders and appointed officials to supervise funds for the Promise Zone gathered from private donors. Promise Zones allow certain low-income public school students to be awarded full tuition scholarships for an associate degree at Rock Valley Community College.

Illinois will join 12 states with similar "college for all" programs with the creation of Promise Zones.

"Education, and especially higher education, allows for a trained workforce that keeps Illinois competitive with the rest of the nation so we will see a boon in the Rockford economy with the help of a Promise Zone," Stadelman said.

The measure, House Bill 194, now moves to Gov. Pat Quinn for his signature.

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) joined his colleagues in the Senate today in passing a gaming expansion measure. After the vote, Stadelman released the following statement:

"I am pleased to see the gaming expansion moving forward in an agreed format. This proposal will be a boon for Rockford and Winnebago County in a time that we desperately need the revenue. I expect we will see an economic impact similar to the Quad Cities and Joliet with estimates of tax revenue between $6 and 10 million to go back into our communities. Both of these areas have had success investing in their river walkways and other local projects that have really boosted their tourism in the past few years. I look forward to this measure getting approval in the House and Gov. Quinn adding his signature so that we can move forward with this great economic opportunity for Illinois."

Senate Bill 1739 includes:

  • Four new riverboats/casinos in Rockford, Danville, South Suburbs and Lake County.
  • Chicago casino will have 4,000 positions.
  • 1,200 racino positions licensed by the Gaming Board in Cook County and 900 for outside Cook County race tracks.
  • New ethics requirements include Executive Inspector General for Gaming, Gaming Board oversight of Chicago casino equal to all other gaming facilities, and political contribution ban for gaming licensees.
  • Revenues will be distributed by upfront license fees to include funding increased headcount at the Gaming Board, pay the back log of old bills, local shares to host communities, and the remaining tax revenues will to the Education Assistance Fund.
Category: Press Releases

stadel0424SPRINGFIELD –State Senator Steve Stadelman's (D-Rockford) effort to eliminate conflicts of interest in local elections by giving more control to county election officials today passed the Senate. The measure is in response to a Chicago Tribune Watchdog report that found candidate petitions were denied for reasons such as being bound by a paper clip.

"Currently, we are seeing too much influence by electoral boards in who qualifies to have their names on a ballot," Stadelman said. "These electoral boards are often composed of local elected officials and party leaders who have a vested interest in seeing a candidate's name removed from a ballot."

There have been several cases in past years in which there has been a clear conflict of interest in board rulings regarding ballot challenges. The measure changes who could rule on ballot challenges. Instead of mayors, trustees and school board members ruling on challenges in their own towns, townships and districts, the power will be shifted to a centralized county panel that already hears challenges for other local races.

As a first-time candidate in 2012, Stadelman said he could empathize with people who think of running for office but find the process intimidating because of partisan powers that currently run elections.

"The election process should be as open and easy as possible so that anyone with an interest in seeking office has the capability to do so," he said.

The measure passed the Senate 39-10 and moves to the House for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

Senator praises announced Rockford road projects

roadworkSPRINGFIELD – Steve Stadelman (D-Loves Park) today praised the Illinois Department of Transportation's announcement of a six-year, $12.62 billion construction plan that includes several million dollars in updates and reconstruction to roads, bridges and railway in Winnebago County. Stadelman released the following statement after the announcement:

"Today's IDOT announcement is great news for the Rockford area, but I would like to hear this type of announcement more frequently," Stadelman said. "These projects make our roads safer while creating thousands of jobs across the state. Investing in infrastructure and making improvements to our roads should be one of the biggest priorities of our state. Passing a capital bill once every decade will not allow us to stay up to date on our infrastructure which is essential in keeping Illinois roads and bridges safe."

The biggest projects in Senator Stadelman's district include:

  • Re-establish passenger service to the Rockford area, including two new stations in Rockford (Alpine Road and South Main Street). Trains will run at least one round-trip daily between Chicago's Union Station and Dubuque. The project is estimated to cost $60 million, and is funded through the Illinois Jobs Now! capital plan.
  • Rockford Multimodal Station. The City of Rockford will design and engineer a new multimodal station that will be built on the site of the former Amtrak station, just south of downtown. The station had not been used since the early 1980s, had fallen into disrepair and was demolished by the city at its own expense in 2011. This multimodal station will serve Amtrak's new Chicago-Rockford-Dubuque corridor with one round-trip train per day. The project is funded by $1.052 million from the state of Illinois and $2.268 in federal funding.
  • One phase of a multi-phased project to rehabilitate Runway 1/19 at Chicago Rockford International Airport at an estimated cost of $4,965,000.

 

For more Rockford-area road projects, click here.

Category: Press Releases

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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