Stadelman

  • Stadelman announces Chicago-Rockford passenger rail moving into next phase

    rockford train 092520ROCKFORD –State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) announced today that his push to restore passenger rail between Rockford and Chicago is gaining speed now that the Illinois Department of Transportation has reached an agreement to hire a project manager.

    “Passenger rail service to and from Chicago holds tremendous potential for economic growth and enhanced quality of life in the Rockford area," Stadelman said. "People across northern Illinois are excited about the prospect of a rail link with Chicago, and I think it’s important to keep everyone fully informed and to include as much public input as possible."

  • Stadelman is joined by governor and local leaders to announce job training program funding

    stadelman 091020ROCKFORD - With Illinois continuing to face an unprecedented public health emergency as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) was joined by Governor J.B. Pritzker, Rockford Mayor Thomas McNamara and Dr. Lisa M. Bly-Jones, Executive Director of Workforce Connection today to discuss investments to expand job opportunities in the City of Rockford.  

    "The coronavirus pandemic is disrupting jobs and changing the skills employees need to do them,” Stadelman said. “To meet this challenge, state government and its partners need to step up to help ensure workers are equipped with the skills critical to our economic recovery.”

  • Stadelman encourages Winnebago County residents to be counted in the 2020 Census

    stadelman 02192020CM1102ROCKFORD – With only weeks left before the U.S. Census Bureau finishes its counting efforts, State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) is stressing the importance of Winnebago County residents being counted by filling out the 2020 Census, which will protect their representation in government and share of federal funding.

    “The census is one of the primary tools the federal government uses to decide how much money will be given to the Rockford area,” Stadelman said. “Filling out the census has never been easier with the new online questionnaire option. It took me 10 minutes to fill out for my entire family.”

    So far this year, Rockford’s self-response rate is down, currently only at 67.7%. As of Aug. 28, Winnebago County’s self-response rate is currently 73.7%. More than half of the county’s residents’ responses have been submitted online.

    “If Rockford is undercounted, it will receive less money, less representation and less influence across the state and country,” Stadelman said. “It’s our job to make sure we’re all counted.”

    Although online is the quickest way to fill out the questionnaire, there are three ways you can respond: online, by phone or by mail. Stadelman also pointed out that higher self-response rates mean fewer individuals are likely to receive visits from census surveyors to be counted in-person. This year, census surveyors are putting the health of themselves and their families at risk from COVID-19.

    If someone hasn’t filled out their census questionnaire yet, they can visit 2020census.gov, where they can find the online questionnaire and additional information about the census. You can see local responses rates across Illinois and the entire nation here.

  • Stadelman announces driver’s license extensions for Illinoisans 75 and older

    senior driver 082720ROCKFORD— In efforts to protect Illinois’ most vulnerable population and spare them a trip to the driver services facility, State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) is notifying drivers age 75 and older that their driver’s license expiration dates have been extended by one year.

    “This was a good call by Secretary of State White. Extending the expiration date for older Illinoisans’ licenses was safest thing to do,” Stadelman said. “People who are 75 or older are especially vulnerable to complications from COVID-19, and they don’t need to be waiting in line in the heat and elements at driver services facilities.”

    In addition to being 75 years of age or older, the driver must have a valid license—drivers whose licenses have been suspended or revoked do not qualify for the one-year extension. Drivers who are eligible should receive a letter from the secretary of state as proof of their qualification.

    For drivers under age 75, expiration dates for driver’s licenses, ID cards and license plate stickers have been extended until Nov. 1, 2020. Customers who choose to visit a facility need wear a face mask. Additionally, customers are asked to be patient due to heavy volume and should be prepared to wait outside in various types of weather.

    Stadelman encourages drivers to visit www.cyberdriveillinois.com to avoid waiting in line and take advantage of online services, including replacements and renewals of registrations, driver’s licenses and ID cards.

    To find the closest driver services facility near you, visit cyberdriveillinois.com, click on the facility finder link, and enter your ZIP code in the search bar.

  • Rockford small businesses to receive over $750,000 in pandemic relief grants

    stadelman 02192020CM1102ROCKFORD – State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) is highlighting small business grants the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is awarding to Rockford businesses and other small business communities across the state that have been hit the hardest by COVID-19-related losses and closures.

    “Small businesses are the lifeblood of my community and of our state,” Stadelman said. “They need this grant money to survive and I’m proud that we are doing everything possible at the state level to help our small business community stay afloat.”

    The grants are the first round of the Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program. The state program will award funds to businesses that have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, with a large portion of the grants being awarded to child care providers.

    The first round of grants range from $10,000-$20,000 and can be used to help businesses with expenses like payroll costs, rent, utilities, equipment and other possible unexpected costs to relieve the effects of the pandemic, such as PPE, training, and new technology.

    “This pandemic has hit smaller and minority owned businesses especially hard,” Stadelman said. “That’s why the program is ensuring that these businesses take priority when grants are being awarded.”  

    The first round of awards includes a diverse group of businesses and focuses on small businesses. Recipients are required to prove annual revenues of $3 million or lower.

    A list of grant recipients can be found here.

  • Stadelman highlights new mental health programs

    stadelman 030920ROCKFORD— State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) is highlighting the Illinois Department of Human Services’ new mental health programs to help people who need additional resources for crisis support, housing and community care during their times of need.

    “As we continue to navigate these uncertain times, now more than ever, it’s important to provide people with help they need,” Stadelman said. “These new and innovative programs will help people get the help they need.”

    IDHS announced three new mental health programs Monday to provide additional support for Illinoisans. The agency worked with community mental health centers and non-traditional service providers to develop capacity and to deliver clinical services and non-traditional supports.

    A new program called the Living Room Program is designed specifically for people in need of a crisis relief program to break the cycle of psychiatric hospitalization. It provides a safe and welcoming atmosphere where individuals can process an event while learning how to avoid a future crisis.

    The Transitional Living Centers Program is a housing resource for people who have mental illnesses and who are in need of an immediate place to stay while they work to find permanent housing.

    Additionally, the Transitional Community Care and Support Programs are for people who are currently in IDHS State Operated Psychiatric Hospitals and preparing to be discharged. It will include funding for non-traditional supports, such as cell phones, food, clothing, transportation, and other resources that are necessary for individuals to succeed as they transition back into communities.

    Individuals seeking help from the Living Room Program may seek help directly or be referred by first responders or medical professionals. Participants of the other two programs will be referred by IDHS and other providers.

    For more information and to find additional mental health resources, click here.

  • Rockford Literacy Council set to receive over $70,000 in adult literacy grants

    adult literacy 070820ROCKFORD – To provide Rockford area residents with an opportunity to improve important life skills, State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) announced that the Literacy Council in Rockford will receive more than $70,000 in grants from the secretary of state’s office to help adult learners develop reading, English-language and others skills. 

    “Giving adults the ability to learn new skills not only provides them with new opportunities. It enhances the community they live in as well,” Stadelman said. “Everyone, no matter their age, should be given the chance to improve their skills and better themselves.”

    More than 13,500 students will be served by adult literacy programs throughout Illinois. Supported by $5.6 million in state funds, the programs will depend on nearly 6,000 volunteer tutors to provide skills training for students, according to the secretary of state’s office. Adult literacy projects are focused on improving reading, writing and math and are targeted at Illinois adults who read below the 9th-grade level or speak English at a beginning level.

    “I encourage Rockford-area residents to give back to their community and volunteer for this great program,” Stadelman said.

    The Literacy Council in Rockford is set to receive a total of $70,690.

    Those interested in volunteering should contact the Illinois Adult Learning Hotline at 800-321-9511.

  • Stadelman asks victims of fraud to come forward, help bring scammers to justice

    UI fraudROCKFORD – To provide assurance to residents that are concerned about potential identity theft after recent claims of fraudulent unemployment cards, State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) is asking Rockford residents who believe they’ve been a victim to file a report with Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).

    “During this time of so much uncertainty, it’s sad that people are being taken advantage of,” Stadelman said. “If you believe you’ve been a victim of this scam, you can help other Illinoisans by filing a report with IDES. We need to hold these scammers accountable.”

    Recent reports have shown Illinoisans have been receiving KeyBank debit cards and unemployment letters in the mail, despite never applying for benefits. According to IDES, individuals who received these mailings may be targets of fraud.

    After receiving these reports, IDES launched an investigation into a national fraud scheme targeting claimants to the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. IDES said unclear federal guidelines quickly developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, making claimants vulnerable to these scams. IDES also said this scheme is not associated to the PUA program issue experienced in May.

    IDES employees are now working with people whose identities have possibly been stolen. The department is also working with local and federal law authorities to track down and prosecute those committing fraud.

    Individuals who have received debit cards in the mail without applying for benefits should call IDES immediately at 1-800-814-0513 to report identity theft. Do not activate the debit card.

    Victims of fraud are also encouraged to check their credit reports for possible suspicious activity, post a fraud alert and visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website for helpful tips on recognizing and reporting identity theft.

  • Stadelman announces over $30 million in improvements to U.S. 20

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  • Stadelman announces additional funding for Rockford youth employment program

    rockford park dist 071620ROCKFORD – State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) was joined by Governor J.B. Pritzker today to announce the expansion of the Illinois Department of Human Services’ COVID-19 Summer Youth Employment Program, creating additional employment opportunities for underserved youth in the Rockford area.

    “This is an extremely important program. It gives these kids the opportunity to connect with each other and learn new working experience to prepare them for future careers,” Stadelman said. “This program can help level the playing field. It focuses on low-income kids in the community, giving them an opportunity they may have not otherwise had.”

  • Stadelman announces state broadband investment in Rockford area

    Senator StadelmanROCKFORD – Rockford and Winnebago County will receive state and private funding to expand broadband internet to underserved residents as part of the state’s Illinois Connected Communities Grant Program. State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford), who helped create the program, was pleased to see Rockford benefit from the first round of grants.

    “One thing we’ve all learned during the pandemic is that access to broadband internet is a necessity,” Stadelman said. “Without reliable internet access, children can’t participate in e-learning, you can’t work from home, and you can’t easily access important services provided by the government and private companies.”

    The program is directing $150,000 in small grants to 12 community and local government partners to develop plans to ensure access to high-speed broadband in their communities. The state grants will be paired with $150,000 in philanthropic matching funds. Together, these investments will help lay the groundwork for Connect Illinois, a $400 million broadband expansion program authorized by the General Assembly. Stadelman supported House Bill 62, which created the broadband program.

    The Region 1 Planning Council, which is a regional government agency representing Northern Illinois, including Rockford and Winnebago County, is one of the 12 groups included in the first round of grant recipients.

    The goal of Connect Illinois is to ensure that every Illinois resident has at least basic internet access by 2024.

    “Internet access has become a basic utility, like electricity, water, or telephone service,” Stadelman said. “Whether you live in an urban neighborhood or country town, you can’t fully participate in today’s economy without the internet.”

  • Stadelman reminds drivers to be cautious of buckling pavement

    buckledpavement 071320ROCKFORD– In anticipation of extreme summer heat across Illinois, State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) reminds drivers to remain alert, expect slowdowns and be cautious of pavement buckling on roads.

    “We all know the heat during the summer months can cause health issues and increase the risk of buckling pavement on our roads,” Stadelman said. “I’m asking Rockford residents to simply be more mindful of this when they take to the roads, and if they see any unsafe buckling to report it to roadway officials.”

    According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, pavement failures or blowouts occur when prolonged high temperatures cause the road to expand and buckle up or blow out, resulting in uneven driving surfaces. Precipitation and humidity increase the potential for buckling.

    Stadelman is also reminding drivers to slow down and be cautious of construction workers when present.

    Pavement failures can be reported to IDOT by calling 800-452-4368 or by reaching out to law enforcement via 911.

  • Stadelman highlights renewal dates for Illinois driver’s licenses and registrations

    Online license renewalROCKFORD – Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) wants to make sure Rockford area residents are aware that the secretary of state has extended the date to renew driver’s licenses, identification cards, and license plate stickers, in an effort to reduce heavy customer volume at driver services facilities and ensure current documents remain valid.

    “Secretary of State Jesse White has decided to extend expiration dates for licenses, IDs, and vehicle registrations until Nov. 1,” Stadelman said. “This will give residents additional time throughout the summer and fall to renew their important documents.”

    Many transactions, including renewing license plate stickers, can be done online, preventing people from waiting in line.

    “During this current heat wave, I would suggest residents consider delaying their visit to a facility. But if you must visit a facility, please come prepared to wait outside due to social distancing, which limits the number of people inside a facility at one time,” Secretary of State Jesse White said.

    Through July 31, driver services facilities are serving only new drivers, customers with expired driver’s licenses and ID cards, and vehicle transactions. Customers who must visit a facility to renew their driver’s license or ID card are encouraged to fill out the preregistration application here before their visit, which will speed up their transaction while at the facility.

  • Stadelman encourages Rockford residents to use free credit checks during pandemic

    stadelman 030920ROCKFORD — Determined to assist Rockford residents navigate their finances after months of economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) is highlighting credit reporting websites that are offering their services for free.

    “No one could have predicted the financial hardships that are plaguing residents across our communities,” Stadelman said. “Credit reporting services can be tedious and people shouldn’t have to pay to know what their credit score is. I’m encouraging people to use the free services that are available.”

    Everyone is now eligible to receive their weekly credit report for free through Equifax, Experian and TransUnion through April 2021. For more information, please visit www.AnnualCreditReport.com.

     “Checking your credit score on a regular basis can make you more aware of what affects it the most,” Stadelman said. “As we continue to live through these truly unprecedented times, one of the best things we can do is remain financially vigilant.”

  • Stadelman emphasizes funding for e-learning and federal support for Rockford Public Schools

    Senator StadelmanROCKFORD – Yesterday, Governor Pritzker signed into law a measure that will provide assistance to teachers and schools in light of the challenges they continue to face during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) supported that measure and has called for additional federal aid to help Rockford Public Schools weather the pandemic and implement e-learning.

    “The federal funds for Rockford schools, in addition to this law, will help Rockford area schools make the changes they need to guide our children through this crisis,” Stadelman said. “Both the funding and the law support e-learning at home – an important safety precaution that may still be necessary in the fall.”

    The education package extends teacher license renewals for one year, so teachers don’t have to go through the renewal process while working remotely. It also allows for mandatory tests to be taken remotely, so students don’t have to risk getting sick in order to take an exam they need to apply for college.

    The total amount of funding Illinois schools are set to receive is close to $570 million, with Rockford expected to receive about $11.7 million, second only to Chicago Public Schools.

    “I encourage school districts to find new ways to use this additional funding along with the guidance signed today, to strengthen the newly created infrastructures of e-learning and remote learning,” Stadelman said.

    The federal government’s coronavirus stimulus will send $13.5 billion to schools across the country for meal programs, technology purchases, remote learning infrastructure, distance mental health programs and counseling for students, sanitization and deep cleaning, and summer programs to help address learning gaps.

    The education package, Senate Bill 1569, was signed into law June 18. The measure takes effect immediately.

  • Stadelman highlights education and local government funding in FY 21 budget

    stadelman floor 052220rSPRINGFIELD – Following the signing of the Illinois FY 2021 budget, State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) applauded the preservation of education and local government funding and efforts to address the challenges presented by COVID-19.

    “This budget was passed under unusual circumstances, and that cannot be overstated,” Stadelman said. “We had to not only pass a responsible budget, but also address the many challenges the state and its people have faced due to COVID-19.”

    Stadelman highlighted that in this budget the state has committed to holding the line for P-12 and higher education funding.

    “As a state, we must continue to maintain steady funding for our schools,” Stadelman said. “Districts have had to make significant adjustments due to COVID-19. It was important that we showed our students and educators that they are a priority.”

    The budget fully funds the Local Government Distributive Fund. The fund provides local governments with a share of the state’s income tax revenue and will help them make up for budget shortfalls caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “Our cities and small towns depend on us to ensure that they have enough funds to serve their residents,” Stadelman said. “Making sure that cities like Rockford receive the funds they need was a top priority for me.”

    Despite financial challenges, the budget maintains services for people in need and assists small businesses hit hard by COVID-19. It also includes federal relief dollars for health care and frontline workers.

    “This is a budget to help us get through the pandemic,” Stadelman said. “It certainly isn't perfect, but it provides the state with stability until there are better days to come.”

    The law is effective July 1, 2020.

  • Stadelman votes in favor of property tax relief legislation

    Sen. Steve StadelmanSPRINGFIELD – With Illinois property taxpayers suffering, State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) voted for legislation that will defer tax sales and gives counties the ability to extend homestead exemptions and waive late fees.

    “Property taxes can be a significant financial burden for residents of communities like Rockford,” Stadelman said. “This legislation will provide much needed relief to ease the financial burden on our communities.”

    The relief package gives county assessment officers the ability to approve homestead exemptions without 2020 applications for residents with disabilities, veterans with disabilities and senior citizens who qualify for assessment freezes.

  • Stadelman announces opening of drive-thru DMV in Rockford

    sos facility 051520ROCKFORD –State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) is pleased to announce the Illinois secretary of state’s announcement of the opening of a drive-thru vehicle registration facility in Rockford, beginning Tuesday.

    “I’d like to thank the Secretary of State for including Rockford in the first stage of his reopening plan,” Stadelman said. “Access to facilities like the DMV are a necessary part of moving forward and getting back to some semblance of normal, everyday life.”

    The facility will only be offering drive-thru services for vehicle registration sticker transactions. According to the Secretary of State’s office, the opening of the facility is the first step of a reopening plan that will be announced in the coming days. The plan will include guidance on how to properly protect customers and employees.

    “My commitment is to do everything we can to help protect the health and safety of our residents, while providing services to the people of Illinois,” said Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. “This first step in a reopening plan adheres to this commitment.”

    Hours of operation for the Rockford facility will be Tuesday 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Wednesday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 7:30 a.m. to noon.

    All expiration dates for driver’s licenses, ID cards and vehicle registrations have been extended at least 90 days after Driver Services facilities fully reopen. The federal government has also extended the REAL ID deadline by one year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The deadline is now October 1, 2021.

    Stadelman continues to urge the residents to renew their vehicle registration stickers online at  www.cyberdriveillinois.com for anyone who can do so. Residents can also renew their driver’s license online through the Safe Driver Renewal program, as well as obtain duplicate driver’s licenses and ID cards.

  • Stadelman encourages residents to try to reduce utility bills during pandemic

    utility meter 050820ROCKFORD – State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) is encouraging residents to participate in the Citizens Utility Board’s (CUB) ongoing Virtual Utility Bill Clinic to potentially save money during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “As more people spend time at home, energy usage has gone up, which means monthly utility bills are going up as well,” Stadelman said. “Families already have additional financial burdens in this uncertain time. I encourage residents to use CUB’s online clinics to help them reduce their bills.”

    To participate, residents should send a copy of their most recent electric, natural gas and telecom bills to CUB at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject line “Attn: Virtual Utility Bill Clinic.” Participants can remove personal information, but their documents should include the account holder’s name.

    A CUB specialist will evaluate the bill to determine if you are signed up with an alternative supplier or if you are paying for unnecessary products or services. CUB will also let you know if you are eligible for money-saving programs, like financial assistance, and share information about energy-efficiency programs.

    Stadelman encourages residents to take advantage of CUB’s free utility bill clinics so to help keep their utility usage and costs in check. For more information on the program, please visit www.citizensutilityboard.org.

  • Stadelman: Be counted, or we will be counted out

    census 2020 websiteROCKFORD –State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) encouraged Winnebago County residents to fill out the 2020 Census, protecting their representation in government and share of federal funding.

    “The census is an incredibly important tool that the federal government uses to determine how much money will be given to the Rockford and surrounding areas,” Stadelman said. “Filling out the census is easier than ever before with the new online questionnaire option. For a family of six, it took me 10 minutes to fill out.”

    In 2010, Winnebago county had a final response rate of 72.5%. So far this year, Winnebago’s response rate is down, currently only at 67%. More than half of the county’s residents’ responses have been submitted online.

     “If the Rockford area is undercounted, we will receive less money, less representation and less influence across the state and country,” Stadelman said. “It’s up to us to be counted, or we will be counted out.”

    Although online is the quickest way to fill out the questionnaire, there are three ways you can respond: online, by phone or by mail. Stadelman also pointed out that higher self-response rates mean fewer individuals are likely to receive visits from census surveyors to be counted in-person. This year, census surveyors are putting the health of themselves and their families at risk from COVID-19.

    If you haven’t filled out your census questionnaire yet, you can visit 2020census.gov, where you can find the online questionnaire and additional information about the census. To see local responses rates across Illinois and the entire nation, visit www.censushardtocountmaps2020.us.