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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Steve Stadelman’s legislation aimed at strengthening local journalism and supporting aspiring reporters is headed to the governor’s desk.

“Local journalism is vital for our communities, providing necessary information and holding those in power accountable,” said Stadelman (D-Rockford). “This bill ensures that local news organizations remain transparent during critical transitions and supports the next generation of journalists.”

The measure would establish the Journalism Student Scholarship Program to help support students who are pursuing careers in Illinois journalism through financial assistance. The legislation would also require local news organizations to notify the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and employees 120 days before a sale occurs. The goal is to give other businesses, newspapers and nonprofits the chance to step in and keep the publication local, rather than furthering the decline in local journalism by selling to a private equity firm.

“Requiring advance notice for sales protects employees and ensures communities are aware of changes that might affect their local news sources,” said Stadelman.

The Senate concurred to Senate Bill 3592 Friday. It now heads to the governor for further consideration.