Steve New Newsletter

State makes good on financial commitment to Machnesney Park

State Senator Steve Stadelman announced this week that the state is reimbursing the Village of Machesney Park for a boat ramp built on the Rock River in 2015.

“This payment, of course, should have occurred long ago," Stadelman said. "But the release of the funds now proves Illinois is turning a fiscal corner and finally keeping its promises to communities like Machesney Park.”

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza issued a check for $200,000 to reimburse Machesney Park for a grant awarded in 2014 under the state's Boat Area Access Development Program but frozen after Bruce Rauner became governor in 2015. According to Machesney Park Mayor Steve Johnson, the ramp has lived up to the intent of the state's grant program, which was to improve access to Illinois' lakes and rivers. The ramp provides the added benefit of helping law enforcement respond more quickly to emergencies.

“The boating public and first responders have really appreciated the boat launch, as shown by the amount of use it gets,” ohnson said. “It would not have happened without the 50-percent grant funding by the state, and we appreciate Senator Stadelman’s help in seeing the final payment through to us.”

 Stadelman urges Goodwill grads to keep believing

Citing the early life and career disappointments of Abraham Lincoln, Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, Walt Disney, Lucille Ball and Dr. Suess, State Senator Steven Stadelman commended young adults who earned their GED through Goodwill and encouraged them to continue to invest in themselves.

Lincoln famously failed in business and lost eight elections before becoming president, Stadelman noted, and Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. Disney, Oprah and Lucy all were dismissed as no-talents early in their careers, and Dr. Suess saw his first book rejected by 27 publishers.

"Our lives are richer because they believed in themselves," Stadelman told Goodwill's fifth and largest GED class at Veteran's Memorial Hall. "Always believe in your abilities even when others don't. Our community is held back by its comparative low education level. Each of you, in bettering yourself, makes our commuity a better place to live."

Pictured below are three of the 22 graduates: Dylan Farr, Efrain Dominguez and Pricilla Outcalt, who worked toward her diploma for 30 years.


In case you missed me on Facebook ...

Shoutout to Albert Cheeks Riley Jr. for the photos of the charity basketball game earlier this month. I had a blast and, just as importantly, didn't tweak a knee or ankle!


Enjoyed talking with ESL students at Rock Valley College! Thanks Bonnie Jensen for the invite!