Stadelman2014In many school districts, students who are unable to pay for lunch can be stigmatized with a special wristband or handstamp, and in some cases even denied lunch.

To stop this practice known as “lunch shaming” in Illinois, State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) sponsored and passed Senate Bill 2428 through the Illinois General Assembly. Yesterday, the governor signed the proposal into law.

“This is a cruel practice that blames kids for mistakes made by their parents,” Stadelman said. “It’s our responsibility to ensure that all students, no matter their background or parents’ income level, have an opportunity to eat.”

Under Stadelman’s proposal, every school will be required to provide a meal to a student that requests one. While the school can contact the parents directly to request they pay for the child’s lunch, they are prevented from throwing the meal out, forcing the student to wear a wristband or otherwise stigmatizing them. If the school district is owed at least $500 by a student’s parents and they have made a reasonable effort to collect the debt, the district can request the comptroller withhold tax refunds to parents to pay off the debt.

The proposal will go into effect immediately.

Category: Press Releases
Stadelman2014Earlier this spring, State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) passed Senate Bill 2560 through the Illinois General Assembly to prevent privately owned websites from charging a fee to remove mugshots and other criminal information. Friday, the governor signed the bill into law.
These websites, which claim to operate as background checks, frequently charge thousands of dollars to remove the information, even if the record has been expunged, sealed or dismissed. In some cases, the website refused to remove the information even after the individual was acquitted.
“These are private websites forcing individuals to pay thousands of dollars to remove incorrect information about their past,” Stadelman said. “In many cases, these people had their records sealed or expunged, or even had the case dismissed. It’s time to put an end to this unethical practice.”

In many cases, individuals weren’t even aware their information was listed on the website until they were denied a job opportunity. 


This new law will become effective Jan. 1, 2019.   
Category: Press Releases

Stadelman2014College students would be able to make more informed financial decisions about their education under a measure passed this spring by State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) and signed into law today. 

Stadelman’s proposal, Senate Bill 2559, creates a three-year pilot program that requires each public university and community college to send an annual letter detailing the current loan and annual repayment amounts to all students with college loans. 

“Thousands of Illinois students graduate from college each year and face the reality that they owe tens-of-thousands of dollars in student loans. For many of these students, it’s the first time they fully realize the expense of their education,” 
Stadelman said. “This new law will ensure students know up-front about the cost of their education and can make better financial decisions to save them money later on.”

Student loan debt in the United States skyrocketed from $833 billion to an all-time high of $1.4 trillion according to recent students. On average, college students graduate with over $34,000 in debt, up 62 percent in the last decade. 


In 2012, Indiana University began sending new and returning students a letter projecting the amount of debt they were expected to graduate with, along with what their monthly payments would be. After implementing this system, the university saw a decline in the amount of education loans taken out by students. The state of Indiana passed a similar law to cover all state universities and community colleges in 2015. 


Senate Bill 2559 will take effect Jan 1, 2019.

Category: Press Releases

Stadelman2014SPRINGFIELD – Legislation expanding an economic development tool known as the River Edge Tax Credit was signed into law by the governor today. The proposal, Senate Bill 3527, was passed through the General Assembly by State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) earlier this spring.

While the tax credit was previously available in downtown Rockford, Aurora, Peoria, Elgin and East St. Louis, the new law will expand it across the entire state.

“This tax credit has been a vital tool to spur the economic growth of downtown Rockford,” Stadelman said. “I’m excited about the possibilities that await our state by expanding this credit statewide.”

The credit is equal to 25 percent of the rehabilitation costs for a business in a historic building, with a limit of $15 million total per year that will be administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources on a first-come first-serve basis. The program will expire at the end of 2023.
 
In Rockford, it has been used to incentivize projects like the $12 million renovation at the Prairie Street Brewhouse.

Now that it has been signed, Senate Bill 3527 will be effective immediately.

Category: Press Releases

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Springfield Office:
Senator 34th District
121A Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8022
 
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