Senator Van Pelt speaks on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – Senator Patricia Van Pelt’s (D-Chicago) measure intended to foster communication between law enforcement and youths and enhance neighborhood safety passed in the Illinois Senate today.

House Bill 243 would allow high schools to establish partnerships with local law enforcement to create law enforcement job training programs for high school students.

“No one is well-served when there is a breakdown in trust and communication between law enforcement and the community,” Van Pelt said. “It’s time to put into effect meaningful programs that help foster positive relationships between law enforcement and our neighborhoods and encourage Chicago youth to pursue careers in law enforcement. If successful, law enforcement agencies will be more diverse and their officers will have a better understanding of the communities they serve.”

The measure also creates the Police Training Academy Job Training Program and Scholarship Fund, which requires the Illinois Student Assistance Commission to administer a scholarship program for students who have participated in such programs and have been accepted into one of Illinois’ public colleges or universities.

Having passed both chambers with bipartisan support, House Bill 243 now goes to the governor’s desk.


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 passage of a balanced budget:

“Today, after months of Republican delays, Senate Democrats chose to restore stability and certainty to the state of Illinois by passing a full-year, balanced budget. The plan will reinstate funding for MAP grants, technical education and after-school programs and important human services that help reduce recidivism rates, treat addiction and provide youth employment—all of which will help restore stability to communities that have been most devastated by Governor Rauner’s inaction over the past two years. The people of Illinois can’t wait any longer. It’s time for the governor to put Illinois first and support this budget.”


Category: Press Releases

Senator Van Pelt speaks on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) issued the following statement in response to the Senate's attempt to vote on the Grand Bargain today:

“Today, after months of negotiations and repeated attempts by Senate Democrats to compromise, Senate Republicans and Governor Rauner made clear that they have no intention of passing a bipartisan budget and reform package of legislation. The people of Illinois can’t wait any longer. Every day without a budget costs the state $11 million, all while human service providers are shutting their doors, after-school programs are being underfunded and students who rely on MAP Grants are uncertain about their futures. We can’t allow Republicans to delay us any longer. Passing a balanced budget must be our top priority.”


Category: Press Releases

voting boothsSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) issued the following statement after voting for a measure that would enact automatic voter registration and remove a barrier to voting for Illinois citizens:

“At a time when we're seeing a major rollback of voting rights across the country, I'm proud that Democrats and Republicans came together and voted to expand access to the ballot in Illinois,” Van Pelt said. “Voter registration laws disproportionately affect minorities, women, seniors and low-income individuals. Automatic voter registration will remove a barrier to voting and 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. If Senate Bill 1933 is enacted, 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.


Category: Press Releases
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