Rock-River-Trail-logo-317x300SPRINGFIELD – The final leg of an initiative to boost tourism and preservation along the Rock River passed the Senate State Government and Veterans' Affairs Committee today. Steve Stadelman (D-Loves Park) co-sponsored House Joint Resolution 8, which creates the Rock River Trail Scenic Historic Route and requires the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and the Illinois Office of Tourism to advertise the route on their websites, maps and related documents.

"The Rock River plays a key historic and economic role in Illinois, and this is an opportunity to highlight it as one of the many tourist attractions in our state," Stadelman said.

The Rock River Trail Scenic Historic Route is one of three projects involved in the development plan of the Rock River Trail Initiative. The plan utilizes roadways, hiking and bike paths along the Rock River causeways to increase the river's exposure and improve local recreation and tourism.

"The trail goes from the Mississippi River in Rock Island, Illinois, to Fond du Lac County in Wisconsin and is a great opportunity for a weekend trip," Stadelman continued. "There are recreational areas, antique shopping, local eateries and many other great opportunities to explore our state along the Rock River."

The 320-mile trail was opened in 2012 through private and local funding. Since its creation, the trail has been included in the registry of the National Park Service and National Water Trail System. It passes through 37 communities and 11 counties in two states. The resolution initiates the final steps of the Initiative's second project, leaving only the finalization of the bike path.

House Joint Resolution 8 now moves to the Senate for final approval.

Category: Press Releases


stadelman-75x75Senator Steve Stadelman is one of 37 lawmakers from 15 states and Canadian provinces chosen for a leadership training program for promising leaders in the Midwest and Canada.

The Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development announced earlier this month the lawmakers chosen for the program, which begins Aug. 9 in Madison, Wis. BILLD provides professional development for leadership and public policy issues such as the economy, education and health care.

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – An effort to aid students in low-income communities in Illinois, including Rockford, through private funding passed the Senate today. State Sen. Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) co-sponsored the measure creating the Lincoln Promise Zones Act giving local governments the authority to establish Promise Zones and raise the necessary funding.

"A Promise Zone will give incentive for families of all financial backgrounds to stay or relocate in Rockford," Stadelman continued. "Rockford Public School commissioned Northern Illinois University to determine the return of investment in promise zones and NIU found that for every dollar invested in the Rockford College-for-All program, an estimated $132 would be generated in supplemental lifetime earnings."

Rockford joins East St. Louis and Aurora in the pilot program for Promise Zones in Illinois over the next five years. Each of the three communities will create a board made up of local educators, business leaders and appointed officials to supervise funds for the Promise Zone gathered from private donors. Promise Zones allow certain low-income public school students to be awarded full tuition scholarships for an associate degree at Rock Valley Community College.

Illinois will join 12 states with similar "college for all" programs with the creation of Promise Zones.

"Education, and especially higher education, allows for a trained workforce that keeps Illinois competitive with the rest of the nation so we will see a boon in the Rockford economy with the help of a Promise Zone," Stadelman said.

The measure, House Bill 194, now moves to Gov. Pat Quinn for his signature.

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) joined his colleagues in the Senate today in passing a gaming expansion measure. After the vote, Stadelman released the following statement:

"I am pleased to see the gaming expansion moving forward in an agreed format. This proposal will be a boon for Rockford and Winnebago County in a time that we desperately need the revenue. I expect we will see an economic impact similar to the Quad Cities and Joliet with estimates of tax revenue between $6 and 10 million to go back into our communities. Both of these areas have had success investing in their river walkways and other local projects that have really boosted their tourism in the past few years. I look forward to this measure getting approval in the House and Gov. Quinn adding his signature so that we can move forward with this great economic opportunity for Illinois."

Senate Bill 1739 includes:

  • Four new riverboats/casinos in Rockford, Danville, South Suburbs and Lake County.
  • Chicago casino will have 4,000 positions.
  • 1,200 racino positions licensed by the Gaming Board in Cook County and 900 for outside Cook County race tracks.
  • New ethics requirements include Executive Inspector General for Gaming, Gaming Board oversight of Chicago casino equal to all other gaming facilities, and political contribution ban for gaming licensees.
  • Revenues will be distributed by upfront license fees to include funding increased headcount at the Gaming Board, pay the back log of old bills, local shares to host communities, and the remaining tax revenues will to the Education Assistance Fund.
Category: Press Releases

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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