config

Van Pelt encourages anyone with information on rape referenced in confidential state communications to come forward

vanpelt 022119SPRINGFIELD – Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D – Chicago) is calling for further action regarding an apparent rape cover-up revealed earlier today by a WBEZ article.

“The cover-up of such an egregious act is simply inexcusable. Everyone involved in mishandling this injustice should be held accountable. If you know anything about this, it is your duty to report it,” Van Pelt said.

The email was from 2012. There is no statute of limitations for charges of sexual assault in Illinois.

“Too often women don’t come forward because the appropriate actions are never taken. We should fight to make sure that doesn’t happen here. I urge anyone with information to come forward,” Van Pelt said.

If you have information please contact:

Champaign County State’s Attorney, 217-384-3733

Illinois State Police, 217-786-7107

Illinois Executive Inspector General, 217-558-5600 or 312-814-5600.

Van Pelt law expands college opportunities for veterans

vanpelt 022119SPRINGFIELD – More Illinois veterans will have access to education thanks to a measure from State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) that was signed into law.

“It’s important that we honor our promises to those who have sacrificed their lives for ours,” Van Pelt said. “Providing access to education to our veterans is a top priority, and I’m pleased that Gov. Pritzker agrees.”

Senate Bill 1467 expands eligibility for the Illinois Veterans Grant and the MIA/POW Scholarship to veterans who have been residents of Illinois for 15 consecutive years.

“When a constituent came to me and told me about the loophole in state law that excluded them from the scholarship, I decided to take action,” Van Pelt said. “By expanding the time frame for eligibility, we’re signaling to veterans that we appreciate and value both their past service and their future endeavors.”

The Illinois Veterans’ Grant Program pays tuition and certain fees at all Illinois state-supported colleges, universities and community colleges for eligible Illinois veterans.

The MIA/POW Scholarship is an education scholarship for the dependents of veterans who are either missing in action, a prisoner of war, died while on active duty, 100-percent disabled due to service-connected disabilities or died as a result of a service connected disabilities.

Van Pelt looks ahead to local infrastructure improvements as governor signs Rebuild Illinois plan

vanpelt 022119CHICAGO – State Senator Patricia Van Pelt is excited about upcoming infrastructure improvements in the 5th District after Gov. JB Pritzker signed the $45 billion “Rebuild Illinois” capital funding plan into law today.

“Our roads, bridges, transit systems and community service facilities will finally get dedicated resources to renovate and modernize,” Van Pelt said. “This plan will reinvigorate our neighborhoods and create good jobs as well.”

A list of projects set for Van Pelt’s district includes improvements and replacement of HVAC, roofs, plumbing, fire control and a range of other repairs and construction at locations such as the Women’s Treatment Center, Garfield Conservatory, Safer Foundation and Chicago Bulls College Prep.

“My constituents rely on these services and repairs and improvements are long overdue,” Van Pelt said. “Along with the additional construction funding for schools and transportation, the Rebuild Illinois plan will create jobs and boost commerce in our city.”

Locally and statewide, some projects will begin as soon as design and engineering phases are complete; other projects will be funded over the next few years. New funding approaches mean projects will continue to be funded as needed each year going forward.

Van Pelt calls for more municipalities to dismantle their gang databases

vanpelt 022119CHICAGO – State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) is urging other municipalities to follow the Cook County Board’s lead and end the use of controversial gang databases.

“For too long, law enforcement has been using gang databases with little oversight or transparency, despite the harmful, long-lasting effects they can have on the individuals in the databases,” Van Pelt said. “I commend the Cook County Board of Commissioners for voting to dismantle their gang database and put an end to its controversial use, and I encourage other municipalities to do the same.”

The use of gang databases to track individuals labeled as suspected gang members was called into question last year after investigative reports found that hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans have been added to gang databases, 95 percent of whom are people of color.

Van Pelt first raised the issue in the legislature last spring after learning about gang databases and the lack of oversight of their use. Since then, she’s held public hearings and met with law enforcement, activists and individuals who have been negatively impacted by being listed in a database.

“I’m continuing to work on legislation at the Capitol to ensure that innocent people aren’t added to a gang database without cause and to require oversight and accountability for the use of gang databases,” Van Pelt said.

Van Pelt sponsored a resolution requiring the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority to conduct a review of the shared gang databases operating in Illinois and submit a report to the General Assembly by June 30, 2019.

Sen. Patricia Van Pelt

 Senator Patricia Van Pelt

5th Legislative District

Years Served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Agriculture; Criminal Law; Energy and Public Utilities; Public Health (Chairperson); State Government.

Biography: Born Nov. 12, 1957, in Chicago. Bachelor’s degree, Roosevelt University (1996); master’s degree, Spertus Institute (1996); doctorate, Capella University (2009); earned her CPA. Currently CEO of TARGET Area Development Corp. She has one child.

Associated Representatives:
Melissa Conyears-Ervin
Arthur Turner