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Stadelman passes legislation to help domestic violence victims leave

stadelman 031517SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) secured passage of legislation today allowing domestic violence victims to continue using their cell phone plans after separating from their abusers.

“One of the reasons people stay in abusive relationships is financial dependence,” Stadelman said. “This legislation removes the roadblock of having to find the money to set up a new phone plan. Anything we can do to make it easier to leave is a positive step.”

The measure requires wireless providers to transfer the right to continue to use phone numbers on an account the victim shares with the abuser. Similar legislation was recently enacted in California, Missouri, Indiana and Wisconsin.

“As we know, cell phones have become nearly essential in modern life,” Stadelman said. “This legislation allows men and women leaving abusive situations to keep their photos, addresses, contacts and emails, and to continue using their phone to seek housing and employment.”

The measure amends current law to allow victims to petition the court for the right to continue use of a phone number as part of a petition for an order of protection.

SB 57 passed unanimously in the Senate and will move to the House for consideration.

Sen. Steve Stadelman

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34th Legislative District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Financial Institutions; Higher Education; Public Health; Revenue; Telecommunications & InfoTechnology (Chairperson); Transportation.

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.

Associated Representatives:
John M. Cabello
Maurice A. West II