IMG 4618 rSPRINGFIELD –College students would be able to make more informed financial decisions about their education under a measure State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) passed through the Illinois Senate today.

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 over $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 the Illinois House of Representatives to be heard for consideration.
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Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – With the proliferation of cashless tolls, State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) advanced a proposal that offers protection for rental car drivers. After returning a rental car, many drivers may be surprised to find they were charged additional fees for a tollway collection device, similar to an I-PASS. Stadelman advanced a proposal through a Senate committee today to allow drivers to opt-out of using these devices.

“Drivers deserve to know up front what they are paying for, instead of finding out when it is already too late,” Stadelman said.

Under Stadelman’s proposal, rental car companies must allow renters to opt-out of the tollway collection device. The company also must post the terms and conditions in the rental agreement and in a visible location in the business. If a company fails to offer a customer the ability to opt-out, the fees are capped at $2 per day that the device is used, in addition to the cost of the tolls.

“Many people may not be aware they can avoid these costly fees by using their own transponders, paying cash or paying the fees online,” Stadelman said. “This additional level on transparency can only benefit consumers.”

Stadelman’s proposal, Senate Bill 2522, passed through the Illinois Senate Commerce and Economic Development Committee with a vote of 7-2-1. It will now head to the full Senate.

Category: Press Releases

Fruit bar pic Web Flickr USDAgovSPRINGFIELD – In many school districts, students who are unable to pay for lunch can be stigmatized with a special wristband or handstamp, and in some cases – even denied lunch.

To stop this practice known as “lunch shaming” in Illinois, State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) passed Senate Bill 2428 through the Illinois Senate Education Committee today.

“Lunch shaming punishes kids for the mistakes of their parents,” Stadelman said. “Every student, no matter what their background or parents’ income level, deserves to eat. In some cases, this may be the only hot meal the students eat all day.”

Under Stadelman’s proposal, every school will be required to provide a meal to a student that requests one. While the school can contact the parents directly to request they pay for the child’s lunch, they are prevented from throwing the meal out, forcing the student to wear a wristband or otherwise stigmatizing them.  If the school district is owed $500 or more by a student’s parents and they have made a reasonable effort to collect the debt, the district can request the Comptroller withhold tax refunds to parents to pay off the debt.

“The top priority of our schools is to educate our children,” Stadelman said. “Forcing a hungry child to sit through class makes it nearly impossible for them to focus and could have a long-term impact on their education.”

The proposal passed through the Illinois Senate Education Committee with a vote of 9-2-1. It will now head to the Senate floor for a vote.
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Category: Press Releases

ROCKFORD – Rockford-area public schools will receive an additional $9.3 million for the current school year, thanks to a new school funding plan backed by State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford). The new evidence-based plan sends additional dollars to schools with less access to local resources.

busesWhile projections had been previously available, today the Illinois State Board of Education released the final dollar amounts school districts will receive.

“Thanks to hundreds of hours of bipartisan committees and the hard work of students, educators and parents, today is a historic day for Rockford and Harlem school districts. This new formula offers our schools the stability they need to educate future generations,” Stadelman said.

According to ISBE, Rockford School District will receive nearly $8.6 million more, while Harlem Unit District will receive an additional $772,000. Payments to school districts are expected to begin next week and continue through the rest of the fiscal year.

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Category: Press Releases

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Springfield Office:
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