Reading club wraps up with awards, pizza and one last book

State Senator Steve Stadelman celebrated the conclusion of his Summer Book Club with 55 students who read 8 books each over 8 weeks during a pizza party Friday in the Fair Grounds Park picnic shelter. Stadelman read aloud to students during the celebration and presented them with certificates of achievement from the Illinois Senate.

For a second year, Stadelman based his book club at the Boys and Girls Club of Rockford Fairgrounds Unit where students in the Summer Enrichment Program work with experienced teachers on building math and reading skills through small group lessons, hands-on activities and interactive computer lessons.

Any student who lives in the 34th legislative district that Stadelman represents can participate in the summer book challenge. To join Stadelman's reading challenge, families could obtain a brochure at public libraries in Rockford, Loves Park, Cherry Valley or Belvidere or by calling his office or visiting his website. The brochure contained a slip for parents or guardians to sign, naming the eight books their child read.


Stadelman discusses state task force at forum on decline of local news

State Senator Steve Stadelman explained the work of the state's Local Journalism Task Force during a panel discussion this week titled, "The Gigantic Impact of Disappearing Local News: How the Problem Occurred and Are There Solutions?"

The town-hall style forum was organized by former U.S. Rep Don Manzullo, who now serves as chief policy advisor for The Institute of Public Policy and World Affairs at Rockford University.

“Media keeps politicians accountable," Manzullo said. "Somebody has to be there to make sure that they don’t say one thing one day and another thing the other day, and so we’ve always had that great tradition in America where the press has always been involved heavily in politics.We don’t have that nowadays.”

Stadelman, who worked for 25 years as a Rockford broadcaster before his election to the Illinois Senate in 2012, chairs the state task force that was established by legislation he sponsored and passed.

The task force, which began conducting virtual hearings in March, remains in the fact-finding phase of its mission to study the decline of local news across Illinois and recommend ways state government might help revive the industry. Stadelman told the audience those recommendations could include tax incentives to put more working journalists on the ground in communities across Illinois.


Fourth summit to provide second chances through free legal aid 

People who are eligible to have their criminal records sealed or expunged can obtain a free attorney to prepare their case for review by a judge during State Senator Steve Stadelman's 2023 Second Chances Summit from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. October 13 at the Nordlof Center in downtown Rockford.

Stadelman will announce the opening of registration at a news conference Sunday. To sign up for the free legal consultation, visit

More than 300 people met one-on-one with volunteer attorneys during the previous summits in 2022, 2019 and 2018. Stadelman's office receives requests to repeat the event on a regular basis, but attempts in 2020 and 2021 were called off because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many well-meaning men and women in our community find that a past transgression, often from their youth, prevents them from obtaining living-wage employment and adequately supporting themselves and their families,” Stadelman said. "Illinois law allows people who meet certain criteria to seek judicial relief, and we all benefit as a result.”

Retired 17th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Rosemary Collins and an attorney for event partner Prairie State Legal Services will join Stadelman at the news conference. Collins, who volunteered at last year’s summit, will encourage local attorneys to contribute their time and expertise. Prairie State provides free event training that volunteer attorneys can use toward the state's continuing education requirements for lawyers.

Interested attorneys can enroll in the training session online at or by calling 815-985-2902.

Stadelman: Take advantage of free webinars on student loan repayment 

With the pandemic-related pause on federal student loan payments ending in September, State Senator Steve Stadelman recommends college borrowers check out a free webinar on what to expect as loan repayments resume.


Offered montly at noon on the Fridays below, the next webinar is August 18. Each webinar will focus on a different action item related to management of student loans when repayments begin after a 3.5 year suspension. The webinars will last 10 to 20 minutes, and registration is available online.

The webinars are being presented by the University of Illinois and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, which predicts long wait times for borrowers who call Federal Student Aid (FSA) or their loan servicer with questions. Interest rates will start accruing Sept. 1, and loan servicers will be notifying borrowers of due dates that will begin occuring Oct. 1.


In case you missed me on Facebook ...

Steve Stadelman is at Busch Stadium

August 8 at 10:25 AM | St. Louis, MO
The "Bi-State Softball Showdown" between lawmakers in Illinois and Missouri. We came up short this year. But, even though I'm a Cubs fan, it's a blast to play in the Cardinals' ballpark!



Steve Stadelman 
August 10 at 8:25 AM

If you're at the Boone County Fair through this weekend, stop by our booth!