Steve New Newsletter

State releases new guidelines for claiming unemployment benefits

People filing claims for unemployment benefits in Illinois are being asked to adhere to an alphabetized schedule because of overwhelming phone and internet traffic.

The state's Department of Employment Security is also issuing a reminder that the day or time of day in which a claim is filed will not affect whether claims are approved or benefit amounts.

Additionally, claims will be back-dated to reflect the date in which claimants were laid-off or let go from their jobs due to COVID-19. More information is available at the IDES website.

econ assistance

Stadelman, West highlight emergency grants and loans for small businesses

State Senator Steve Stadelman and State Rep. Maurice West today detailed three new emergency assistance programs geared toward providing immediate economic assistance to small businesses in communities across Winnebago County that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The economy in this community is driven by small businesses, and small businesses are often owned and run by a single individual or family," Stadelman said during a media opportunity at Salamone's restaurant in downtown Cherry Valley. "As we continue to see corporate investment at the federal level, it’s refreshing to see the state of Illinois prioritizing these businesses and recognizing that their needs are significantly different than the needs of massive corporations during this uncertain time.”

Added West, "We're moving in uncharted territories at this time, and it's important for the government to provide support as much as possible. I want to make sure all of our businesses in the Rockford region apply for the programs they are eligible for."

Stadelman and West were joined restaurant owner Rosalie Salamone, who shared the impact of the global health crisis on her family's business.

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Hospitality Emergency Grant Program

To help hospitality businesses make ends meet in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is launching the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program. Bars, restaurants and hotels can access $14 million in grants to support working capital (rent, payroll and other accounts payable), job training (such as new practices related to take out, delivery and sanitation) and technology enabling new operations.

Bars and restaurants that generated between $500,000 and $1 million in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $25,000, and bars and restaurants that generated less than $500,000 in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $10,000. Hotels that generated less than $8 million in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $50,000. Funding for the new program comes from money originally budgeted for tourism promotion, job training and other purposes.

Application deadline is 5 p.m. April 1.

Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program

To support small businesses in downstate and rural counties across Illinois, DCEO is repurposing $20 million in federal funds to establish the Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program. This Fund will offer small businesses of up to 50 employees the opportunity to partner with their local governments to obtain grants of up to $25,000 in working capital. These grants will be offered on a rolling basis.

Application period opens March 27.

Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund

The $60 million program will support low-interest loans of up to $50,000 for small businesses in every industry outside of Chicago. Businesses with fewer than 50 employees and less than $3 million in revenue in 2019 will be eligible to apply. Successful applicants will owe nothing for six months and then begin making fixed payments at 3-percent interest for the remainder of a five-year loan term.

Application period opens March 27.

To submit applications or obtain additional information on the three programs, visit the DCEO website.

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 Steve New Newsletter

Dear Chamber Leaders,

This is a time of great change and uncertainty. I appreciate your patience and your willingness to assist
as our community navigates the COVID-19 outbreak.

I'm sure you are receiving as many calls looking for guidance as my office. To help you respond to questions from businesses, I have compiled a list of services that may assist you. For your reference, I have attached:

 a FAQ to help restaurant and bar employees navigate the unemployment insurance program

 guidance from the federal Department of Health and Human Services regarding infection
control and prevention in nursing homes, and

 a copy of the executive order prohibiting on-premises food and drink consumption at all Illinois

Gov. JB Pritzker announced today that Illinois will extend its income tax filing deadline from April 15 to July 15 to coincide with the federal extension. In addition:

In addition, Illinois has secured a statewide Economic Injury Declaration with the U.S. Small Business Administration. As a result, small businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak now have access to up to $2 million in low-interest disaster assistance loans. Interested business owners can apply at

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has extended license expiration dates and continuing education deadlines. Licensees may complete continuing education requirements and other coursework online.

To help alleviate some of the economic challenges facing bars and restaurants due to COVID-19, the Department of Revenue will defer sales tax payments for more than 24,000 small- and medium-sized bars and restaurants. More information on the deferral is available at
These changes have been made possible by emergency declarations at both the state and federal levels. Gov. Pritzker has signed a series of executive orders granting the authority for these changes in an
effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

Please understand these policies are fluid and subject to change. Additionally, more changes might be forthcoming.

Feel free to share with your business community. They, too, may have some recommendations on how we might offer help to our local business owners during this challenging time, and I would encourage you to forward these suggestions to me for consideration. If you would like more information on any policy or topic, please let me know.

My office remains open by phone (815-987-7557) or email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). I am happy to speak to any and all companies to help alleviate concerns. Thanks again for your patience and support.


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State Senator Steve Stadelman

34th District

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Steve New Newsletter

Coronavirus: What you should know


Stadelman moves to protect survivors of sexual assault

State Senator Steve Stadelman has introduced a bill that would make a civil no-contact order permanent if an individual is criminally convicted of sexual assault. Under current law, sexual assault survivors must see their alleged assailants in court every two years to renew their no contact orders.

“Survivors of sexual assault have to live day in and day out with the trauma caused by assault,” Stadelman said. “The least we can do to help them is not to force them to relive their trauma every 2 years.”

Stadelman developed the Senate Bill 3617 in consultation with the City of Rockford and Rockford Sexual Assault Counsel (RSAC). Similar lifetime protection orders are already in place for stalking victims.

“If an individual believes that it’s in the best interest of their safety to extend an order of no contact against their criminally convicted perpetrator, they should have the right to do so,” Stadelman said. “People should have the right to feel safe in their daily lives without having to endlessly go to court.”

Stadelman fights for rights of kids to run lemonade stands

State Senator Steve Stadelman voted last week for legislation that would prevent children from having their lemonade stands shut down by overzealous local bureaucrats. The legislation was inspired by the story of 11-year-old Hayli Martinez, who last week told the Senate Public Health Committee about how officials in Kankakee flagged and quickly closed her lemonade operation last summer. 

“My lemonade stand is a dream I shared with my grandma before she passed away -- she always told me to make lemonade out of lemons, so I did,” Martinez said. “When my lemonade stand was shut down, I became very upset. I asked myself, "Why me?" I didn’t do anything wrong.”

Stadelman is the sponsor of Senate Bill 3169 and co-sponsor of Senate Bill 3459. Both would eliminate local requirements such as a license, permit or fee to sell lemonade for an individual under the age of 16.

“We should be encouraging our young entrepreneurs. The current law does nothing but discourage them,” Stadelman said. “I remember what it was like to be a kid in the summer, trying to find something to do. This legislation allows our youth to be creative and make a small profit at the same time.”

SB 3459 passed committee and will now be reported to the Senate floor for full consideration.

 Stadelman legislation to spur construction spending passes Senate

Legislation introduced by State Senator Steve Stadelman to help the state finance construction projects across Illinois passed the Senate last week.

Stadelman's bill allows the Illinois Treasurer to invest up to 5 percent of the state’s investment portfolio in Illinois infrastructure development companies, a change that would permit up to $700 million in financing.

“This measure creates new economic development opportunities for the state,” Stadelman said. “The construction industry is a key part of our state’s economy, so it only makes sense to allow the treasurer to invest in infrastructure projects.”


In case you missed me on Facebook ...

Congratulations to recipients of the YWCA achievement awards at the 40th Leader Luncheon today and thank you to Calvin Wesley for his kind letter supporting my nomination in the racial justice category. In his letter, Calvin expressed hope for his personal growth, having obtained free legal assistance to expunge an old criminal record through the Second Chances Summit, a partnership between my office and Prairie State Legal Services.

Steve YMCA

Rockford area members of the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition came to the Capitol to advocate for more state investment in wind and solar energy.

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Steve New Newsletter

Stadelman encouraged by governor’s support for education and health care

State Senator Steve Stadelman cited JB Pritzker’s emphasis on education and health care as highlights of the governor's annual budget address last week.

“I’m pleased to see the governor is continuing his commitment to fund local education. Additional money for the state’s school funding formula will greatly benefit Rockford-area schools and its residents,” Stadelman said. “Over the last several years, the Rockford School District’s property tax rate dropped significantly thanks to the new formula.”

The proposed budget increases the evidence-based funding formula for K-12 schools by $350 million in addition to making investments in early childhood and higher education.

Stadelman also commended the governor’s proposal to invest more in health care for low-income and working families.

“This proposal also makes an important investment in Medicaid,” Stadelman said. “There are many in the Rockford area who rely on Medicaid to stay healthy, and health care is absolutely vital to our economy.”

Stadelman said that he’s looking forward to working with the governor on a new budget and building on last year’s success of passing a balanced, bi-partisan spending plan.

 Reform push shifts focus to criminal justice system

A joint legislative panel listened last week to witnesses reporting on the state of criminal justice reform in Illinois.

Members of two Senate committees and a House committee heard from experts with the Illinois Justice Project, ACLU-Illinois, Restore Justice, the Illinois Department of Corrections, multiple police departments and county state’s attorneys along with people directly affected by the criminal justice system in Illinois.

 The hearing centered on various criminal justice reform issues, including cash bail and victim protection.

 In case you missed me on Facebook ...

Congratulations to Charles "Chuck" Jefferson who now has a section of South Winnebago Street named in his honor -- right outside of the Booker Washington Center library, which also bears his name. Six years since he stepped down as the first African-American to represent Rockford in the Illinois General Assembly, Chuck continues to provide leadership at Booker!


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Contact Info

Springfield Office:
Senator 34th District
121B Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8022
District Office:
200 S. Wyman St., Suite 301
Rockford, IL 61101
(815) 987-7557