Sen. Stadelman

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Steve Stadelman recently held a subject matter hearing in the Senate Revenue Committee on a measure designed to uplift local journalism.

“Local journalism is the backbone of our communities, providing essential news and information that keeps residents informed and engaged,” said Stadelman (D-Rockford). “We must do what we can to preserve local journalism and, in turn, preserve democracy.”

Senate Bill 3953 would create the Local Journalism Sustainability Act, which aims to provide critical financial support to local news organizations and small businesses through targeted tax credits.

The bill contains two tax credits: one is withholding credits to help companies and their local newsrooms maintain and expands staff. Over the past 15-20 years, Illinois has lost a third of its local newspapers and newsrooms in the state, and has reduced jobs by 85%. The other tax credit is for local small businesses which advertise with local newsrooms.

“We have discovered meaningful solutions to the ongoing issue of the decline in local journalism in Illinois,” said Stadelman. “Now, in order to improve the financial situations of local newsrooms, it is important that we take those solutions and incorporate them into our legislation.”

This bill has the potential to reinvigorate local economies and reinforce the foundational role of local journalism in democratic society.

“I believe that local news needs investment from state government, if we are to fulfill our part of the American bargain, to report fairly, with empathy, and grit, about what happens in our towns; your towns,” said Dan Haley, president and publisher of Growing Community Media. “The tax credit measures will help keep our reporters on the street.”

Stadelman will continue to fight for measures to bring forth more support to local journalism.