041816CM0860SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) advanced legislation through the Senate today that will require law enforcement officials to accept cash to post bail. Stadelman’s proposal is Senate Bill 2252.

The idea was brought to him by Rockford-area resident Kevin Lunsford, whose minor son was arrested for a traffic offense last year.  When Lunsford arrived at the Winnebago County Juvenile Center to bail out his son, the credit card machine was broken and the center has a policy to refuse to take cash.

Because of a technology malfunction, Lunsford’s son was forced to sit in the juvenile center the entire weekend – significantly longer than the law requires, paid for by taxpayer dollars.

“No one should be forced to spend extra time in custody because of a technology malfunction or a refusal to take cash,” Stadelman said. “I look forward to continuing to work with area residents to advance proposals brought to my attention by my constituents.”  

Stadelman’s legislation passed the Senate with a vote of 56-0-0  and will now head to the Illinois House.

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) passed legislation through the Illinois Senate today that could free up as much as $2 million in federal money for the Rockford school district.

The federal government gives grants to Illinois school districts with large percentages of students from low-income families to pay for additional educators to help these students meet difficult academic standards.  

However, because of the complicated Illinois pension funding system, school districts are forced to use more than one-third of these funds to pay for the teachers’ pension costs.   

“These funds should be used as they are intended: to help at-risk students further their education, not pay down our pension debts,” Stadelman said. “Spending this money on pension debts instead of students disproportionately affects the students who need it most.”

The legislation, Senate Bill 436, would allow school districts to pay the same rate into the teachers’ pension system for federally funded teachers as it does for all other teachers. This would cut the school district’s contribution rate from 36 percent to a more manageable 7 percent, the same it pays for other educators. It would not have an effect on individual teachers’ pensions.

The proposal passed the full Senate with a vote of 43-1 and now heads to the Illinois House.

Category: Press Releases

Stadelman88081SPRINGFIELD – The federal government gives grants to Illinois school districts with large percentages of students from low-income families to pay for additional educators to help these students meet difficult academic standards.  
 
However, because of the complicated Illinois pension funding system, school districts are forced to use over a third of these funds to pay for the teachers’ pension costs.   
 
Rockford School Superintendent Dr. Ehren Jarrett joined State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) in a Senate Committee hearing today in support of legislation Stadelman is sponsoring that would allow school districts to use the federal funds they receive, commonly known as Title 1 funding, in the classroom instead of being forced to spend it on pension costs. The proposal could free up as much as $2 million for Rockford schools.
 
“These funds are meant to help at-risk students receive additional education, not to pay down our pension debts,” Stadelman said. “Siphoning off a third of the funding we receive from the federal government disproportionately affects low-income and special needs students who often need the most help.”
 
The legislation, Senate Bill 436, would allow school districts to pay the same rate into the teachers’ pension system for federally funded teachers as it does for all other teachers. This would cut the school district’s contribution rate from 36 percent to a more manageable 7 percent, the same it pays for other educators. It would not have an effect on individual teachers’ pensions.
 
The proposal passed the Senate Executive Committee with a vote of 12-2 and now heads to the Senate Floor.

Category: Press Releases

031616 js 0004SPRINGFIELD – Following a line of questioning from State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) in the Senate Appropriations Committee, the governor's office has released funding that will allow the Rosecrance Triage Center to stay open through June 30.

“The Triage Center has been effective at keeping those with mental illness out of jail and out of the hospital, saving taxpayers thousands of dollars,” Stadelman said. “However, while this funding is a start, it still does not resolve the governor's long-term opposition to the program.”

In 2012, when Singer Mental Health Facility was shut down by the state, Rosecrance was promised more funding to allow them to serve patients through community based programs, such as the Triage Center. Until these funds were released, Governor Rauner had broken this promise.

To provide additional stability for the center, the Illinois Senate also passed Senate Bill 2059 through the Appropriations I Committee, which will provide funding for Rosecrance. It now heads to the full Senate for a vote.

“I strongly encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to come together to support this proposal, to help fund services that our state so desperately needs,” Stadelman said.

Additional Coverage: Channel 17, Channel 23, Channel 13

Category: Press Releases

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