Sandoval

  • Historic statewide construction package signed into law

    Communities across the state will see renewed investment in their infrastructure under a bipartisan construction plan approved by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker today.

    The $45 billion construction package is the culmination of a three-month negotiation process during which lawmakers traveled throughout Illinois to hear input from local officials, educators, transportation experts and other interested parties.

    “We spent months traveling this state and learned more than I thought possible about the infrastructure needs in various communities,” said State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago), who co-chaired the committee charged with developing the construction plan. “The result is a comprehensive package that takes into account the testimony we heard and fairly invests in communities in every corner of the state.”

  • Majority Caucus Whip Martin A. SandovalSPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) that would improve the safety of children on school buses passed the Illinois Senate Wednesday.

    House Bill 2121 makes changes to the eligibility standards for individuals with criminal convictions applying for a bus driver license. The legislation would add several criminal offenses to the list of those that would make an individual eligible for a lifetime ban from receiving a license.

    “When we think of school safety, we often limit our scope by thinking only of the building itself,” Sandoval said. “A student’s experience starts when he or she boards the bus and we need assurance that our children will be safe on their commute as well as in class.”

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  • sandoval 050819SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) unveiled a plan Wednesday that would provide sustainable annual funding to address years of neglect of Illinois’ roads, bridges and transit systems.

    “Our transportation system has been underfunded for far too long and it’s time for Illinois to transition to a more sustainable funding method to fix our crumbling roads and the more than 2,300 bridges in our state that are rated as structurally deficient,” Sandoval said. “We’ve been kicking this can down the road for decades and it’s time for us to finally step up and find a solution.”

  • sandoval bus 050619SPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) that would improve the safety of children on school busses passed the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday.

    House Bill 2121 makes changes to the eligibility standards for individuals with criminal convictions applying for a bus driver license. The legislation would add several criminal offenses to the list of those that would make an individual eligible for a lifetime ban from receiving a license.

    “We need to make sure that schools are safe and nurturing environments for our students and that includes ensuring that they have a safe commute to and from school every day,” Sandoval said. “It’s critical that those charged with transporting our children safely have been properly vetted and are deemed fit to carry out their work.”

    Criminal offenses that would newly allow an individual to be banned for life under the legislation include permitting the sexual abuse of a child, all aggravated battery offenses and loitering of a sexual predator near a public park.

    “It’s just common sense that people who have been convicted of these crimes are not fit to take care of our children every day,” Sandoval said.

    The legislation also eliminates the lifetime ban on applicants with convictions for misdemeanor marijuana offenses and replaces it with a 20 year ban.

    “It’s time to stop punishing non-violent offenders with minor marijuana convictions so harshly and allow them to return to being productive members of our communities,” Sandoval said. “These men and women should not be barred from a career opportunity for life because of a mistake they made years prior.”

    The measure will now go before the entire Senate.

  • Senator SandovalSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) passed a measure Wednesday that would create a grant program aimed at preventing DUI offenses and supporting victims involved in DUI-related crashes.

    “The deaths of two Illinois State Troopers in the last month have demonstrated just how serious of an issue safety on Illinois’ roads has become,” Sandoval said. “It’s time for immediate action to make Illinois a safer place to travel.”

    Senate Bill 728 creates the DUI Prevention and Education Fund from which grants will be distributed to crash victim programs and materials, impaired driving prevention programs, law enforcement support and other DUI-related programs.

    Funding for these grants will come from the Illinois Department of Transportation’s currently unused Roadside Memorial Fund. No additional revenue will be raised to pay for the program.

    “With the availability of new ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, there’s just no excuse for driving under the influence anymore,” Sandoval said. “It’s time to make drunk driving a thing of the past in Illinois.”

    The measure passed the Illinois Senate 58-0. It will now go before the House of Representatives.

  • sandoval 041019SPRINGFIELD – A bill sponsored by State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) that would help protect confidential documents submitted with driver’s license of identification card applications passed the Illinois Senate Wednesday.

    “No one should have to fear that the personal information they submit to the state may end up in the wrong hands,” Sandoval said. “This is a simple, common-sense piece of legislation that will help ensure Illinoisans’ confidential information remains protected.”

    Senate Bill 1344 prohibits confidential documents submitted to the Secretary of State for driver’s license or ID card applications from being released through the Freedom of Information Act. The measure provides that these confidential documents may only be released to the following parties:

     

    • The individual to whom the driver’s license or ID card was issued
    • Officers and employees of the Secretary of State in charge of issuing driver’s licenses and ID cards
    • Law enforcement officials for a criminal or civil law investigation
    • Any other entity the Secretary has authorized by rule

    The measure will now go before the House of Representatives.

  • Sandoval Peoria Hearing

  • High-speed trainSPRINGFIELD – The Senate Transportation Committee passed a measure Tuesday sponsored by State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) to create a commission that would explore opportunities to create a statewide high-speed rail network.

    Senate Bill 1988 would create an 18 member High Speed Railway Commission comprised of representatives from state government and industry organizations that would create a plan to create a high-speed rail network connecting St. Louis with Chicago. The proposed route for the railway would pass through several Illinois cities, including Champaign, Decatur and Springfield.

    “High speed rail could very well be a big part of the future of transportation in Illinois,” Sandoval said. “As Chair of the Transportation Committee, I want to ensure that we study all available options to move our transportation infrastructure forward.”

    The measure passed committee as the Illinois Senate considers introducing a comprehensive plan to improve Illinois’ infrastructure. At a hearing on capital infrastructure needs on Monday, legislators heard from a representative from the Midwest High Speed Rail Association about the economic benefits and increased quality of life high speed rail could provide to Illinois residents.

    “High-speed rail would make travel throughout the state of Illinois far easier and would improve our economy by fostering tourism and commerce,” Sandoval said. “I look forward to hearing the commission’s findings and plotting the best path forward to introducing more high speed rail projects in Illinois.”

    The bill passed the Transportation Committee unanimously. It will now go before the entire Senate.

  • Senator Sandoval

    DECATUR – The Subcommittees on Capital for the Senate Transportations and Appropriations II Committees held their third joint hearing in Decatur Monday, hearing from local groups about capital infrastructure needs.

    Representatives from local government, health care professionals, transportation experts and other interested parties testified before the subcommittees about existing capital and needs that should be addressed in a potential bill to release funding for infrastructure improvements around the state.

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  • sandoval 030519SPRINGFIELD – A bill sponsored by State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) that would help protect confidential documents submitted with driver’s license or identification card applications passed the Senate Transportation Committee Tuesday.

    “You have a reasonable expectation of privacy when you submit personal information to any entity and that includes the state of Illinois,” Sandoval said. “This piece of legislation will ensure that no one’s confidential information will end up in the wrong hands just because they applied for a driver’s license or ID card.”

    Senate Bill 1344 prohibits confidential documents submitted to the Secretary of State for driver’s license or ID card applications from being released through the Freedom of Information Act. The measure provides that these confidential documents may only be released to the following parties:

    • The individual to whom the driver’s license or ID card was issued
    • Officers and employees of the Secretary of State in charge of issuing driver’s licenses and ID cards
    • Law enforcement officials for a criminal or civil law investigation
    • Any other entity the Secretary has authorized by rule

    The bill passed the Transportation Committee unanimously. It will now go before the entire Senate.

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  • sandoval 021519SPRINGFIELD – Legislation cosponsored by State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour passed the Illinois House of Representatives, marking a major win in the fight to ensure Illinois workers are guaranteed a fair wage.

    “As legislators, we are committed to guaranteeing a living wage and protecting the dignity of workers,” Sandoval said. “I’m glad to see that the House followed our lead in approving this historic legislation recognizing the benefits this bill will bring to working class families in Illinois.”

    Senate Bill 1 would gradually increase the minimum wage in Illinois to $15 an hour by 2025. The step-by-step rollout of the increase is designed to allow businesses to adjust to the law and adapt accordingly. The first increase will take effect on Jan. 1, 2020 and set the minimum wage at $9.25.

    Illinois’ minimum wage has been $8.25 an hour since 2010.

    Senate Bill 1 now awaits the governor’s signature.

  • sandoval 041118­SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) commended the Illinois Department of Human Services’ decision Wednesday to issue Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits early to avoid a disruption that could hurt Illinois families on the Southwest side of Chicago.

    “Struggling families should not have to worry about where their next meal will come from because of the president’s costly and unnecessary government shutdown,” Sandoval said. “I am pleased to see that IDHS recognizes the importance of ensuring that Illinois families are able to claim the benefits they need to get through difficult times.”

    March SNAP benefits will be loaded into recipients’ accounts on March 1.

    February benefits through the program were issued in January as a result of the federal government shutdown, leaving a long gap before recipients would again be able to claim benefits on which they rely. Benefits are typically issued at different times throughout the month.

    SNAP is a federal program that provides food subsidies to families who cannot afford to buy groceries.

  • sandoval 062018­SPRINGFIELD – Home owners and businesses in Argo Community High School District 217 will see a decrease in their property taxes as a result of a new state grant program for school districts in highly-taxed areas.

    The Property Tax Relief Grant was a part of a historic school funding reform law that brought millions of dollars to school districts in dire need of funding.

    “Homeowners and businesses should not have to pay exorbitant property taxes for our children to have access to a good education,” said State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago), a longtime advocate of tax relief. “This grant helps ensure the success of our students without placing an undue burden on taxpayers.”

    Argo Community High School District 217 will receive over $1.8 million dollars from the new program.

    In order to receive the state grant, eligible school districts must submit an abatement resolution to their county clerks by March 30. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will then distribute the grants once receiving all abatement certificates.

    More information on the Property Tax Relief Grant and a listing of each eligible school district can be found at www.ISBE.net/proptaxrelief.

  • Sandoval named to Pritzker Infrastructure comCHICAGO – State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago), Chairman of the Illinois Senate’s Transportation Committee, was named to Governor-elect JB Pritzker’s Restoring Illinois’ Infrastructure Committee last week.

    “As the chair of the Senate Special Committee on Supplier Diversity, I work to ensure public and private sector institutions offer opportunities for business and job growth for minority, women and Veteran owned businesses, and I’ll do the same on this transition committee,” Sandoval said. “This work will build on the incoming administration’s commitment to building a state government that is representative of the people of Illinois, and I can’t wait to get started.”

    The committee is the 10th of several working groups of the transition to help guide the incoming Pritzker-Stratton administration. The committee will be chaired by Senator Sandoval, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, Congressman Dan Lipinski, Congressman-elect Jesús Garcia, and State Rep. Jay Hoffman. The committee consists of 45 members.

    “Illinois’ role as a transportation hub for the nation is a critical component of our economy,” said Governor-elect JB Pritzker. “My administration will prioritize a comprehensive 21st Century Capital Bill to build the infrastructure we need to restore Illinois’ place as an economic leader.”

    Sandoval said he looks forward to continuing to serve Illinois and the residents of the Southwest Side of Chicago.

    “Governor-elect Pritzker and I are both committed to moving Illinois forward,” Sandoval said. “I look forward to this opportunity to serve with such a diverse and hard-working committee.

  • sandoval 120518Calls on CEO Rodriguez to resign

    CHICAGO –State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) announced his support Tuesday for teachers of Acero Charter Schools that have gone on strike.

    “Time and time again, across the country, we see administrations unwilling to give teachers a voice in their negotiations for equitable pay, fair benefits and the changes needed to do what is right for their students,” Sandoval said. “I stand with the teachers of Acero Schools because their fight is a fight for our students and a fight for the future of the Southwest Side.”

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  • castro 020718SPRINGFIELD – Advocates for small business are calling on Gov. Bruce Rauner to better implement a law he signed but has thus far neglected to enforce.

    State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) sponsored a law to ensure businesses benefiting from tax credits are taking care to do business with companies that are minority- or woman-owned. The legislation requires any business receiving an EDGE tax credit report on its supplier diversity numbers to the state.