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New Stadelman law could help Rockford-area adults earn high school diplomas

stadelman 022817SPRINGFIELD – Thousands of adults in Winnebago and Boone counties may get the chance to earn their high school diploma, thanks to legislation that was signed into law today.

The new law, sponsored by State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) in the Senate, effectively eliminates the existing law prohibiting school districts from awarding high school diplomas to anyone over the age of 21.

“A high school diploma is nearly essential in today’s world, but not everyone is able to complete high school in the same amount of time,” Stadelman said. “These programs will give people a second chance and help them obtain job skills. Everyone benefits in the end, because a trained workforce is good for economic development in our communities.”

Non-profit entities, including community colleges, will also be allowed to establish programs that can award high school diplomas to adult learners.

The law is effective immediately.

Stadelman: Governor’s amendatory veto could hurt downstate schools

Sen. Steve StadelmanSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) joined Rep. Litesa Wallace and local school superintendents and activists at a press conference in Loves Park on Friday.

Stadelman said Gov. Rauner’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1 includes provisions that could take away funding from downstate and suburban schools. The governor’s amendatory veto counts TIF districts in a school district’s equalized assessed value and ties funding to enrollment.

The Senate will return to Springfield on Sunday to take action on the governor’s amendatory veto. Although negotiations are ongoing, Stadelman said he feels confident the Senate can override the veto if necessary.

Stadelman urges Gov. Rauner to support school funding reform

stadelman050417SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) released the statement below urging Gov. Rauner to support Senate Bill 1.

“There is a lot of rhetoric being spread about the school funding reform measure that will soon reach the governor’s desk, but my support for it is simple: it will bring $5 million to Rockford schools.

Our education funding system in Illinois is broken. This plan is the result of years of negotiations and work. Don’t’ be fooled by comments that it is a ‘Chicago bailout.’ This evidence-based formula will provide millions in funding to the state’s neediest districts, like Rockford Public Schools, and like the 268 districts that will receive more funding than Chicago Public Schools.

The only reason this legislation is not already on the governor’s desk is because he has threatened to veto it before even getting a chance to read it. Let’s hope these weeks of discussion have allowed cooler heads to prevail. This is a win for Rockford. I would urge the governor to support this much-needed reform.”

River Edge Historic Tax Credit extension heads to governor’s desk

stadelman 031517SPRINGFIELD – An extension of the River Edge Historic Preservation Tax Credit has passed both legislative houses and is headed to the governor for approval. State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) secured passage of legislation today that extends the River Edge Historic Preservation Tax Credit for four more years starting in January 2018.

State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) passed legislation in the Senate extending the credit through January 2022 earlier this month.

“The tax credit has already incentivized hundreds of millions of dollars of development in Rockford alone,” Stadelman said. “This will help put crumbling infrastructure back to use, grow the economy and increase revenue.”

The credit has been an important economic tool for the revitalization of downtown Rockford, and is equal to 25 percent of the rehabilitation costs for a business in a historic building.  

Previously, the tax credit was used to incentivize projects like the $12 million renovation at the Prairie Street Brewhouse, which also created 110 construction jobs. In addition to Rockford, the credit is also available in Aurora, Peoria, Elgin and East St. Louis.

Sen. Steve Stadelman

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34th Legislative District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Education; Transportation (Vice-Chairperson); Committee of the Whole; Higher Education; Appropriations I; Commerce and Economic Development.

Biography: Earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Worked as a news anchor/reporter for WTVO-Channel 17 for 25 years, In 2003, his coverage of the state's death penalty earned him an Associated Press award for Best Documentary.