stadelmansyversonSPRINGFIELD– Winnebago County, along with other counties that pass public safety sales tax referendums in the future, may soon have added flexibility in how they use those funds, under bipartisan legislation passed in the Illinois Senate by State Senators Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) and Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford).

House Bill 4560 expands the “Special County Retailers’ Occupation Tax for Public Safety, Public Facilities, or Transportation” to allow counties to use proceeds from the tax to fund mental health and substance abuse services. The legislation clarifies that counties that have passed the special tax via referendum will be able to use the funds for mental health and substance abuse treatment in areas that affect crime.

"We know that the criminal justice system is impacted by mental health and substance abuse," said Syverson. "Mental health and substance abuse treatment can help reduce crime and increase public safety, so I think it is a natural fit to make sure local governments have the flexibility to use these funds to treat those issues."

"Mental health and substance abuse are among the most overlooked issues facing our state," said Stadelman. "This is a common-sense, bipartisan measure that gives local governments another tool in the toolbox to treat those struggling with these challenges.”
The Special County Retailers’ Occupation Tax for Public Safety, Public Facilities, or Transportation, as first created, is a tax that county boards may levee, if approved by a referendum, to be used exclusively for public safety, public facilities, or transportation purposes. The tax applies to what is considered to be tangible personal property at retail, but excluding property that is required to be titled or registered with the state.

The legislation passed unanimously through the Senate Revenue Committee on Wednesday and then was approved by the full chamber on Thursday.

“My hope is that this legislation will help treat many individuals who are currently falling through the cracks while enhancing public safety for everyone,” said Syverson.

“I look forward to continuing to work across the aisle to find solutions to the challenges facing our state,” said Stadelman.

Category: Press Releases

Stadelman2014In 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) sponsored and passed Senate Bill 2428 through the Illinois General Assembly. Yesterday, the governor signed the proposal into law.

“This is a cruel practice that blames kids for mistakes made by their parents,” Stadelman said. “It’s our responsibility to ensure that all students, no matter their background or parents’ income level, have an opportunity to eat.”

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 at least $500 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 proposal will go into effect immediately.

Category: Press Releases
Stadelman2014Earlier this spring, State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) passed Senate Bill 2560 through the Illinois General Assembly to prevent privately owned websites from charging a fee to remove mugshots and other criminal information. Friday, the governor signed the bill into law.
These websites, which claim to operate as background checks, frequently charge thousands of dollars to remove the information, even if the record has been expunged, sealed or dismissed. In some cases, the website refused to remove the information even after the individual was acquitted.
“These are private websites forcing individuals to pay thousands of dollars to remove incorrect information about their past,” Stadelman said. “In many cases, these people had their records sealed or expunged, or even had the case dismissed. It’s time to put an end to this unethical practice.”

In many cases, individuals weren’t even aware their information was listed on the website until they were denied a job opportunity. 

This new law will become effective Jan. 1, 2019.   
Category: Press Releases

Stadelman2014College students would be able to make more informed financial decisions about their education under a measure passed this spring by State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) and signed into law 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. 

“Thousands of Illinois students graduate from college each year and face the reality that they owe tens-of-thousands of dollars in student loans. For many of these students, it’s the first time they fully realize the expense of their education,” 
Stadelman said. “This new law will ensure students know up-front about the cost of their education and can make better financial decisions to save them money later on.”

Student loan debt in the United States skyrocketed from $833 billion to an all-time high of $1.4 trillion according to recent students. 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. 

Senate Bill 2559 will take effect Jan 1, 2019.

Category: Press Releases

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Springfield Office:
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