Steve New Newsletter

Veto override saves local aviation jobs

Aviation jobs across Illinois, including those in Rockford, will be protected by legislation co-sponsored by State Senator Steve Stadelman to reinstate a sales tax exemption on aircraft repair.

The loss of hundreds of good-paying jobs statewide was predicted if Illinois were to begin taxing equipment and parts used in aircraft maintenance. Most states offer an exemption for aircraft repair including neighboring Wisconsin, Missouri and Indiana.

When the exemption lapsed in Illinois five years ago, aviation repair companies unwittingly failed to start charging customers the tax and the state's Department of Revenue failed to catch the mistake. House Bill 3902, which became law last week after legislators in both chambers of the General Assembly overrode the governor's veto, forgives companies for the oversight and continues the exemption through 2025.

Stadelman argued in favor of Illinois maintaining a competitive edge and preserving skilled aviation jobs.

 Stadelman hears update on DNA evidence backlog

State Senator Steve Stadelman is encouraged to hear Illinois State Police have made some progress in recent months reducing its evidence-processing backlog, but he believes much more work is needed as families continue to wait far too long for justice.

That's Stadelman's asssement following a recent Illinois Senate Public Health Committee hearing, where he listened to victims reliving the trauma of their loved ones being murdered>

Latonya Moore, whose daughter Shantieya Smith, was slain in 2018 testified before the committee for her third time. “My daughter, to me, feel like a John Doe. She don’t even exist.” Moore sobbed. “If you was born in my same shoes, how would you feel? Because it feel like I’m reaching out and I’m not getting no help.”

ISP Director Brendan Kelly said additional forensic scientists have been hired and new technology has been employed to reduce the delay in processing rape and murder kits by 16 percent.

Stadelman opens office for voter registration Feb. 18

Deputy registrars will be available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, February 18, in State Senator Steve Stadelman's downtown Rockford office to register new voters for the Illinois primary election March 17.

To register, voters must be U.S. citizens with 30 days of residency at their voting address and must be 18 years of age before the November 3 general election. Qualified residents should bring two forms of identification, including one with a current address, to Stadelman's office in the Zeke Giorgi Center, 200 S. Wyman St., Suite 301. A photo ID is not required.

"I believe we should make voting as accessible and inclusive as possible," Stadelman said, "so I'm making my office available for one day for anyone who wants to sit down with a trained, nonpartisan registrar."

February 18 is the last day voters can register to participate in March primary without visiting their local election authority or going online.

 In case you missed me on Facebook ...

Congratulations to RAMP on expansion and renovation of its 100-year-old office on Market Street in downtown Rockford. The agency has raised $1.1 million of the $1.5 million required for the project, including capital funds pledged by me and other state legislators representing the Rockford area. Tuesday was "Demo Day." RAMP expects to return to the space this fall.