Stadelman wins Senate approval for highway construction safety bill

State Senator Steve Stadelman’s legislation to ensure driver's education courses include instruction on worker safety in highway construction zones has advanced to the Illinois House of Representatives.

“We are underscoring our commitment to fostering a culture of safety on Illinois roadways,” Stadelman said after receiving Senate approval. “This measure signifies our priority of protecting the safety of both drivers and workers in highway construction zones.” 

Senate Bill 3151 would require that driver’s education courses include instruction on workers’ safety protocols in highway construction zones, providing knowledge and awareness to navigate construction zones safely and responsibly. The goal, Stadelman said, is to reduce accidents and save lives of both construction workers and motorists traveling through construction zones.

“Ensuring the safety of our highways and construction zones requires a united effort,” he said. “Giving Illinois drivers the knowledge they need to maneuver construction zones safely is of the utmost importance.”

Senate passes Stadelman-proposed local journalism relief efforts

As newsrooms across the state and nation continue to shrink, State Senator Steve Stadelman hopes to provide a lifeline -- and his Senate colleagues passed parts of his comprehensive legislative rescue package this week.

Senate Bill 3592, which offers scholarships for Illinois journalism students and opportunities for local newsrooms to remain locally owned, now moves to the Illinois House of Representatives for consideration.

“Investing in journalism education is investing in the future of our democracy,” Stadelman said of the provision to establish the Journalism Student Scholarship Program to help alleviate financial burdens that might prevent talented individuals from entering the field.

"The scholarship program will help develop a steady pipeline of skilled professionals committed to upholding journalistic principals and serving their communities," Stadelman said. "By offering financial support to aspiring journalists, we are investing in the vitality of independent journalism for the next generation.”

Another provision is geared to prevent private equity firms from buying newspapers, consolidating them until they provide very little local news with few to no local journalists and eventually shutting them down. SB 3592 -- or the Strengthening Community Media Act -- would require a local news organization to notify the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and employees 120 days before a sale occurs, giving other local newspapers, companies or non-profits a chance to intervene and keep the publication in local hands.

“The requirement for written notice prior to the sale of a local news organization is crucial in protecting the livelihoods of employees and preserving community-focused journalism,” Stadelman said.

A companion bill to create the Journalism Preservation Act remains under discussion in the upper chamber. Senate Bill 3591 would require mega companies like Google and Meta to compensate local news organizations for content they share and profit from.

Stadelman's work to rescue the local news industry continues to gain national attention

Click below to watch his appearance on the New York podcast, "Laidoff and Looking."

Kevin Bessler in The Center Square:
"Stadelman, a former TV anchor, said the biggest issue that newsrooms are
facing is that the avdertising revenue stream has gone to big tech companies, which has left
local news outlets with a large financial burden.” 

Axios: Illinois bill wants Big Tech to pay for local news

"Local newsrooms should be compensated for their content," Stadelman told The Daily Northwestern. "If Big Tech benefits from it on their platforms, there should be some type of reimbursement, a revenue stream for that content."
Another article highlighting Stadelman’s anti-hazing bill: WREX, My Stateline,
- “Earlier this year, Stadelman, a former TV anchor, said the biggest issue that newsrooms are
facing is that the advertising revenue stream has gone to big tech companies, which has left
local news outlets with a large financial burden,” said Kevin Bessler, in an article by The Center
o More articles highlighting Stadelman’s journalism bills: the Daily Northwestern, Axios

Other Stadelman bills grabbing headlines statewide

The (Bloomington) Pantagraph: Illinois Senate passes legislation that could strip medical debt from credit reports
“Think about what a credit score is. It’s supposed to be a measure of how risky you are to make a loan to, to approve a credit card or a mortgage. But credit cards and mortgages are voluntary agreements that people enter into, unlike medical debt. I mean, when’s the last time you ever heard (of) someone getting an elective kidney transplant, just for fun?” -- Dan Schneider, attorney for the public interest law firm Legal Access Chicago

Our QC News: Illinois could strengthen anti-hazing laws

"Stadelman pointed to recent high profile controversies in Illinois as a reason for his proposal. A recent investigation found the Eastern Illinois University swim team violated the university’s hazing policies."

In case you missed me on Facebook ...

Steve Stadelman
April 15 at 1:08 PM

Summit Academy ambassadors took me on a student-led tour this morning of the alternative education program operated by the Boone Winnebago Roe in the former Harlem High School freshman campus. The academy serves students in 6th through 12th grades by focusing on their social and emotional needs so they can meet their academic goals. Staff greet students at the door and escort them individually to class. One of the ambassadors expressed that he's made to feel like a celebrity when he arrives every day. The academy's "ambassadors" are those students who have reached the highest level of achievement. Of course, when we reached the gym, I couldn't resist shooting a basket!



Boone Winnebago Roe

Awesome to have you tour the campus - we are so proud of the work Summit is doing in the lives of the students and, in turn, our entire community! Thank you for stopping by Senator Stadelman! (Did that shot go in?)

Steve Stadelman
Boone Winnebago Roe Of course it went in!

Steve Stadelman
April 18 at 3:53 PM

Congratulations to the 2024 graduates of Northern Illinois University College of Engineering at Rock Valley College, which allows students to earn an NIU bachelor's degree on the RVC campus. Three of them -- Jocelyn Nunez-Monreal, Keelan Sorn and Mohamed Alani -- are pictured here with Senior Associate Dean Mansour Tahernezhadi and the Certificates of Recognition they received from the Illinois Senate during a pizza party at RVC. More than two dozen seniors from the RVC program are scheduled to graduate next month on the NIU campus in DeKalb.

Eric Meyer
Thank you Senator Steve Stadelman!! Please continue to do Great Things in Springfield representing Northern Illinois!!

$44 million in state grants available for EV charging stations: Stadelman

State Senator Steve Stadelman this week announced $44 million in grants that are now available to bolster public electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the state.

“These grants present a remarkable opportunity to enhance Illinois’ infrastructure while simultaneously reducing our carbon footprint,” Stadelman said. “Investing in public, EV-charging infrastructure is not only essential for supporting electric vehicle adoption but also for fostering economic growth and sustainability in our communities.”

This marks the second round of grants available through the historic Stadelman-backed Rebuild Illinois, and authorized under the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act.

Eligible applicants include units of local government and private organizations that are incorporated in Illinois and are in good standing with the Illinois Secretary of State. Proposed charging stations must be owned by the applicant and open to public use. Required forms and information can be found on the Driving a Cleaner Illinois webpage.

“By working together with municipalities, businesses and community organizations, we can accelerate the deployment of EV charging infrastructure and make sustainable transportation options more accessible to all Illinois residents,” Stadelman said.