RockfordhearingRockford - State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) hosted the Illinois Senate Commerce and Economic Development Committee to hear testimony about Senate Bill 1642, an extension of the River Edge Historic Tax Credit. The credit has been an important economic tool for the revitalization for downtown Rockford, and is equal to 25 percent of the rehabilitation costs for a business in a historic building.  Currently, the tax credit will expire on Jan. 1, 2017. Stadelman’s proposal would extend the deadline an additional 5 years, until Jan. 1, 2022.

In the Rockford area, rehabilitation projects like the Watch Factory and Ziock Building may be in jeopardy if the credit is not extended. Previously, a $12 million renovation on the Prairie Street Brewhouse created 110 construction jobs, and the business now contributes $341,419 annually in income tax revenue thanks to the River Edge Historic Tax Credit. Projects in other communities such as Aurora, Elgin, Peoria and East St. Louis may also be in jeopardy.

Numerous developers from the Rockford area, as well as representatives from the cities of Rockford, Elgin and Aurora all testified on the positive impact the tax credit has had on their communities.

Local developer, Gary Anderson, spoke about the importance of the credit to the Rockford area.

“It is critical to our economic revitalization. We’re seeing developers interested in areas where it never would have happened before. We need to have some of these tools in our toolbox to make this happen,” said Anderson.

The Senate will continue to debate Senate Bill 1642 and the rest of the state budget over the upcoming weeks.

Category: Latest

stadelmanfloorSPRINGFIELD–State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) advanced legislation through the Senate that would make it easier for victims of domestic violence to move into a safe environment. The proposal gives victims up to 60 days to pay their initial deposit on gas, electric and water bills.

Many domestic violence victims are forced to stay in dangerous environments because they don’t have the resources to leave. Under Stadelman’s legislation, the deposits must still be paid, but victims will have additional time to get their finances in order so they can move out.

“One of the top reasons domestic violence victims stay in these situations is because they can’t afford to leave. This legislation gives them additional time to get their finances in order to pay for some of their most basic needs, electricity and water. I hope this will encourage more victims to move to a safe environment,” said Stadelman.

The legislation now heads to the House of Representatives for a vote.

Category: Latest

pillsSPRINGFIELD–Drug courts, first introduced to Illinois in 2001, allow non-violent drug offenders to attend highly structured and closely monitored drug treatment programs in exchange for having their sentences reduced or dropped.

The benefits of these courts are well documented.  A study by the Attorney General showed that offenders sent to drug court are between 20 and 40 percent less likely to become repeat offenders than those sent to a traditional court. The Office of National Drug Control Policy also estimates that a drug court program can save up to $20,000 per participant.

However, under current state law, drug offenders can only be sent to drug court once. State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) passed legislation today with a vote of 54-00 to give these non-violent drug offenders another chance.

“Drug addiction is a disease, and as such, we should treat it like one. These are people who are caught up in a life they don’t wish to live in, but can’t escape after one try. We owe it to them and the taxpayers to utilize this cheaper, more effective option,” said Stadelman.

Stadelman’s proposal places no limit on the number of times a defendant can be assigned to drug court as long as they admit their addiction to drugs and have not committed a violent offense in the last ten years.

The legislation will now go to the Illinois House of Representatives.

Category: Latest

firefighterSPRINGFIELD– In November of 2014, Cherry Valley firefighters arrived at a house fire only to find a hydrant that was inoperable and to be used only for flushing, not fighting fires. As it turns out, the hydrants were broken and no one had told the fire department. While the house burned, they had to wait for water to be transported to the scene before the fire could be extinguished.

A proposal passed by State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) would require private water companies to notify fire departments of the working capacity of the hydrants. Stadelman was joined last week in the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee by Cherry Valley Fire Chief Craig Wilt, who testified in support of the legislation.

“This legislation would make it much easier for fire departments with private water systems to know the amount of water they have in storage if there is a fire. Right now, it’s unknown how much water is available in a private water system for firefighting, versus a municipal system where we know we will not run out of water,” said Wilt.

“Firefighters need to know the working condition of the hydrants they use. It’s extremely unfortunate a family had to lose its home because the Cherry Valley fire department hadn’t been updated on the status of the hydrants. This legislation will stop that from happening again,” said Stadelman.

The legislation passed the Senate today and will be sent to the Illinois House of Representatives. 

Category: Latest

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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