SPRINGFIELD – A measure championed by Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Loves Park) allowing Winnebago County to impose a 2 percent tax on hotel stays was signed into law over the weekend. It is estimated that this new tax, which would be shouldered by out-of-town visitors, would generate $13 million for the project. The measure is an effort to move a proposal to make Rockford the Midwest recreational sports destination forward.

"This new law will allow the Rockford area to stay competitive with surrounding states that already have started construction on their sports facilities," Stadelman said.

The Reclaiming First proposal transitions the former Ingersoll building into a riverside indoor sports complex, while making improvements to Sportscore One and Two. The project was introduced in December 2011 and has rallied support from across Winnebago County and the surrounding area.

"The best part of our sports facilities is that they are utilized by Winnebago County residents but are paid for by out of town visitors," Stadelman said.

Currently in Rockford, hotel guests pay a 12 percent tax at checkout. But surrounding areas like Peoria and Galesburg have a 13 percent tax, and Chicago has a 16.4 percent tax. The majority, if not all, of the estimated $37.5 million needed in funding for the new project would come from non-local sources including grants, charitable contributions and state funding.

"Since 2007, Rockford's amateur sports tournaments have dropped 11 percent annually, resulting in $1.4 million loss for the region each year," continued Stadelman. "So this new revenue source for the project is coming at the right time to stop this downward trend in our economy."

Local economic development and city planners, elected officials, business owners and labor leaders collaborated on the proposal that would not only bring back Rockford's declining sports tournaments, but expand resources to make Rockford the amateur sports tournament capital of the Midwest.

Category: Press Releases

hoopstarstypeROCKFORD – Young basketball enthusiasts can jump-start their Labor Day weekend by competing in a free 3-on-3 tournament organized by State Senator Steve Stadelman.

Stadelman, a longtime youth basketball coach and avid recreational player, intends for Senator Stadelman's HoopStars to expand into an annual community event. The one-day tournament is open to students in third through eighth grades with no entry fee for players.

ComEd is the event's primary financial sponsor; Comcast is a supporting sponsor. All proceeds, including a $1 spectator admission, benefit Patriots' Gateway, a community center serving Rockford's impoverished near southeast side.

"Our goal is to provide a positive, no-cost activity for our youth, particularly those from low-income families and inner-city neighborhoods," Stadelman said. "We also hope to raise funds to help Patriots' Gateway continue to be an important presence in the lives of so many underprivileged children and adults."

All players will receive free commemorative T-shirts; trophies or medals also will be awarded. Teams of four can register at Patriots' or at Stadelman's legislative office in the Zeke Giorgi Center, 200 S. Wyman St., Suite 301, Rockford. Sign-up forms are also available by clicking here (to download, right-click and select "Save Target As...").

Hot dogs, popcorn, walking tacos and other concessions will be for sale. Spectators can learn about power and energy at an interactive ComEd display, and Comcast will provide information on how to obtain low-cost, high-speed Internet. Stadelman hopes the tournament helps fill the void left by the loss of On the Waterfront, Rockford's long-running Labor Day food and music festival.

"Senator Stadelman's HoopStars is about the love of the game and kids having a ball," he said. "My wish is to see the event grow into the youth equivalent of Gus Macker, bringing the excitement of the sport back to the streets."

Sign-up form: pdfflyer6.pdf
Parental consent form: pdfHOOPSTARS_CONSENT_FORM.pdf

Category: Press Releases

timeboxROCKFORD – Most people probably don't know that Illinois reimburses victims of violent crimes for medical bills, lost wages and other out-of-pocket expenses.

Learn about the many services available to crime victims and those who work with crime victims at a free seminar sponsored by State Senator Steve Stadelman.

Stadelman's guest speaker is Cynthia M. Hora, chief of the Crime Victim Services Division for the Illinois Attorney General's office. She will explain various state programs and answer questions at the seminar, which is free and open to the public.

"It is important that offenders receive the harshest punishment under the law," Stadelman said, "but it is also important that victims and their families receive the support they need to rebuild their lives and regain peace of mind."

Among the programs that Chief Hora will review are:

  • Crime Victim Compensation Program provides direct financial assistance to innocent victims of violent crime to reimburse out-of-pocket expenses related to the crime.
  • Automated Victim Notification System allows crime victims throughout Illinois to obtain timely and reliable information about criminal cases and the custody status of offenders 24 hours a day via telephone, Web or e-mail.
  • Violent Crime Victim Assistance Program provides grants to public and privately funded nonprofit victim and witness assistance efforts throughout the state.
  • Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program trains registered nurses and other professionals who treat and assist sexual assault patients to provide a higher level of care and reduce re-traumatization of victims.
  • Illinois Victim Assistance Academy offers a 40-hour intensive course of study for crime victim service providers (including law enforcement) and a two-day advanced academy for experienced providers. IVAA is designed to improve the quality and consistency of victim services in Illinois.
Category: Press Releases

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

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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