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Senator Stadelman's Weekly Bulletin - October 4, 2016

Stadelman disappointed in same-day voter registration ruling
State Senator Steve Stadelman expressed frustration with a judge's decision last week to block some Election Day voter registrations in Illinois.
"While I respect the role of the judiciary in government, I'm disappointed any time access to the polls is restricted," said Stadelman, who supported the 2014 initiative to allow Election Day registration at Illinois polling places. "We should be working to make voting easier and encourage more participation in the electoral process." 
The legal arm of a conservative political think tank backed by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner challenged the law in court in August. A judge last week ruled in its favor and issued a preliminary injunction.
Stadelman said the court ruling is particularly troubling combined with Rauner's recent veto of automatic voter registration, which the General Assembly passed with bipartisan support. Under that bill, motorists would have automatically been registered to vote -- or had their voting records automatically updated -- when obtaining or renewing a driver's license.

Free dictionary program continues for its 20th year
State Senator Steve Stadelman took part in "sort day" for the Sara Ingrassia-Jackie Confer Dictionary Fund. Volunteers packaged more than 3,000 dictionaries to be given later this month to all 3rd-graders who attend Rockford Public Schools.
The dictionaries, which are free to students and theirs to keep at the end of the school year, are used in classroom assignments during third grade. No public funds are used to purchase or distribute the dictionaries; the program depends entirely on charitable contributions for individuals, corporations, service clubs and PTOs.

Stadelman praises completion of downtown pedestrian bridge 
A former railroad crossing turned foot bridge over the Rock River is a prime example of intergovernmental cooperation and another key downtown redevelopment project, Senator Steve Stadelman said of the new attraction that opened for public use last week.

More than half of the $1.6 million cost of converting the bridge, which connects recreation paths between Davis Park and the UW Sports Factory, was paid through the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program.

"Projects like the pedestrian bridge often don't come to pass without multiple funding sources," Stadelman said. "A vibrant urban core is essential to a prosperous community, so anything that benefits downtown Rockford benefits the entire region."


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