Senator Van Pelt speaks during a press conferenceSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) issued the following statement about automatic voter registration becoming the law in Illinois:

“At a time when we're seeing attacks on voting rights at the federal level, I'm proud that Illinois legislators came together and passed a measure to make it easier for eligible citizens to participate in our elections,” Van Pelt said. “Automatic voter registration will remove a barrier to voting that has disproportionately affected minorities, women, seniors and low-income individuals and will help ensure that all eligible Illinoisans are able to participate in our democracy should they so choose.”

Currently, there are more than 2 million Illinoisans who are eligible to vote but aren’t registered. Under Senate Bill 1933, eligible Illinoisans will be automatically registered to vote when they interact with certain state agencies. If an individual does not want to be registered, they can opt-out.

Senate Bill 1933 was signed into law today in Chicago.


Category: Press Releases

Senator Van Pelt speaks during committeeSPRINGFIELD – Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) issued the following statement in response to the Senate’s vote to override the governor’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1:

“Today, the Illinois Senate voted once again to fix Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation school funding formula by enacting a school funding model that provides fair and equitable funding for all Illinois schools.

“Under the governor’s amendatory veto, Chicago Public Schools would lose hundreds of millions of dollars. The governor has spent months pitting Chicago against downstate for his political gain, and now he’s trying to harm Chicago’s children by taking away funding for their schools. It’s absolutely unacceptable.

“Senate Bill 1 is the only plan that ensures no schools in Illinois lose funding. I am proud to vote to override the governor’s harmful amendatory veto. It’s the best thing for all Illinois children. I hope the House is able to do the same.”  


Category: Press Releases

Senator Van Pelt speaks on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – Ex-offenders can now obtain their birth certificates at no charge thanks to a measure sponsored by Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago).

“We should be doing everything possible to remove barriers to success and reduce recidivism for ex-offenders,” Van Pelt said. “Waiving the fee requirement for birth certificates for an individual who is released from a Department of Corrections facility removes a financial burden, giving ex-offenders a better chance at success.”

Senate Bill 1413 waives the fee for birth certificates for individuals when they are released from a Department of Corrections facility.

“Ex-offenders already face too many obstacles when they are released from custody. Having to pay for a birth certificate should not be one of them,” Van Pelt said. “This is a small, but easy way to easy the burdens placed on ex-offenders.”

Senate Bill 1413 passed both chambers unanimously and was signed into law on Wednesday.


Category: Press Releases

05262017CM0507RSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) issued the following statement today after Governor Rauner issued an amendatory veto of historic changes to Illinois’ inequitable system of school funding:  

“Today, Governor Rauner blew up decades of work to change Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation system of school funding. His rhetoric against Chicago and CPS belittles the real challenges faced on a daily basis by the district’s nearly 400,000 students.

“I will continue working with my colleagues in the Senate to ensure this governor’s bald-faced prejudice toward Chicago schoolchildren does not harm every student in Illinois.”

Category: Press Releases
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