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Senator Stadelman's Weekly Bulletin - May 5, 2017

Stadelman wins extension of River Edge Historic Preservation Tax Credit

State Senator Steve Stadelman passed legislation today that continues the River Edge Historic Preservation Tax Credit for four more years starting in January 2018. In December, Stadelman obtained approval for a one-year extension for 2017. Today's vote allows the credit to last until January 2022.

"The tax credit has already incentivized hundreds of millions of dollars of development in Rockford alone," Stadelman said. "This will help put crumbling infrastructure back to use, grow the economy and increase revenue."

River Edge has been an important tool in revitalizing downtown Rockford. Projects that have made use of the economic tool include the Prairie Street Brewhouse, which provided 110 construction jobs during its $12 million transformation from a largely vacant warehouse. The tax credit equals 25 percent of the rehabilitation costs for a business in a historic building in Rockford, Aurora, Peoria, Elgin and East St. Louis.
Senate Bill 1783 passed unanimously in the Senate and now moves to the House for consideration. 


'Right to Yelp' bill championed by Stadelman receives approval 
State Senator Steve Stadelman advanced legislation this week to protect the rights of consumers to leave honest online reviews of products and services without fear of retaliation.
The measure prevents companies and service providers from enforcing non-disparagement clauses included in sales contracts. Such clauses typically include language that prohibits consumers from leaving negative feedback about the retailer. Oftentimes, particularly online, a consumer must accept the terms of a contract before completing a purchase.
"Although I understand that businesses don't want to be unfairly criticized, it is important to protect the right of the consumer to voice their opinion," Stadelman said. "In many cases, people might not even realize they signed a non-disparagement agreement until a company takes action against them."

Only two states – California and Maryland – have laws in place banning non-disparagement clauses. Illinois has general consumer protection laws in place that prohibit unfair business practices and fraud but do not specifically address non-disparagement clauses.
Senate Bill 1898 moves to the House for consideration after passing unanimously in the Senate.

Stadelman passes measure allowing emergency prescription refills
State Senator Steve Stadelman won approval this week for legislation that will allow pharmacists to fill emergency prescriptions without a doctor's authorization.  
Stadelman's had a personal motivation for introducing the measure. During a family vacation, his son, who was 13 at the time, realized he had no insulin or needles to manage his Type 1 diabetes. Because it was a Saturday, the pharmacy they visited was unable to reach his doctor to authorize a prescription.
"This really drove home to me that getting a prescription filled quickly can be a matter of life or death," Stadelman said. "I started to do research and saw that many other states allow emergency refills to take place."
Senate Bill 1790 does not allow emergency refills of controlled substances and caps refills at 30 days. The legislation passed unanimously in the Senate and now advances to the House for consideration.

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