News from Rockford, IL Democrats – more news at WinnDems.org.

Senator Stadelman's Weekly Bulletin - August 15, 2016





Stadelman unrelenting: Voter access must be a priority for Illinois

State Senator Steve Stadelman pledged to continue pressing for measures to make registration easier for eligible Illinois voters, despite the governor's move to block the latest efforts. A measure he co-sponsored to bring automatic voter registration to Illinois garnered bipartisan support in both houses of the legislature in the spring.
That bill followed Senate Democrats' earlier successful efforts to make voting more accessible and convenient through early voting, same-day and online voter registration and vote-by-mail. "I'm curious," Stadelman said, "why the governor would oppose cutting government waste and red tape, which is exactly what automatic voter registration would do." 

Homeless students take GED exams free under new law
Homeless students will find one less barrier to obtaining their GED under legislation supported by State Senator Steve Stadelman and signed into law this month by the governor. Senate Bill 2840 waives fees paid by homeless young people for the four test modules of the GED exams, which cost $30 each. Under the new law, applicants will complete a prep course through an Illinois Community College Board-approved provider and take the exam at a testing center operated by a regional superintendent of schools. 

Stadelman supports new group to study education funding reform
An editorial column by the League of Women Voters in the Rockford Register Star quotes State Senator Steve Stadelman on the governor's formation of a bipartisan commission to study school funding reform. "Even though the issue has been studied for years and a legislative task forced reported its findings a year ago, anything that keeps the spotlight on the need for reforms is a good thing," said Stadelman, who co-sponsored two previous bills to reform education funding. "Hopefully, the governor is committed to true reform."

New license plate will help protect butterfly population
The plight of the monarch butterfly -- Illinois' official insect -- will be addressed through legislation that creates the first specialty license plate under the state's new decal-based universal plate program. Fees from the plate would support a program that focuses on planting milkweed in highway median strips in Illinois.
Monarchs have declined 90 percent in Illinois during the past 20 years. The new program could help restore their populations by using highway medians to cultivate milkweed, on which monarchs feed and breed. Once established, the milkweed medians are unlikely to be disturbed by humans. House Bill 6182 received unanimous approval in both chambers before being signed into law this month by the governor.


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Paul Gorski is the editor and posts the content. More information about local Democratic officials and candidates can be found at WinnDems.org (http://www.winndems.org)
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