001VanPelt0089bIn a commentary piece published in the Chicago Tribune, Illinois State Senator Patricia Van Pelt says Illinois should learn from mistakes made by well-meaning policymakers in other states and reject mandatory minimum sentences. Evidence shows that mandatory minimum prison sentences for gun crimes are not a cost effective crime deterrent and will not make Illinois communities safer.
You can read Senator Van Pelt’s full commentary here.

Category: Press Releases

get-covered-illinoisThe governor’s office recently announced health plan rates for the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace. These rates are lower than predicted and lower than the rates of many other states. Through the Marketplace, consumers will be able to compare plans side by side. Starting October 1, Illinois residents will be able to access the Marketplace three ways: visiting the website; calling the state’s helpdesk at (866) 311-1119; or by contacting a partner organization to obtain in-person assistance.

If you don’t currently have health insurance, please take advantage of the six-month enrollment period beginning October 1. Please contact my office if you have any other questions or concerns.

Category: Press Releases

SB1695SignState Senator Patricia Van Pelt’s tax credit for businesses hiring ex-offenders was signed on Saturday at the People’s Church of the Harvest. This law, originally SB 1659, expands the maximum tax credit for businesses who hire qualified ex-offenders from $600 to $1,500.

“This law will offer an increased incentive for businesses to assist in the reintegration of ex-offenders into the community,” Van Pelt said. “This policy will ensure employment opportunities for all residents of Illinois and will help us rehabilitate ex-offenders.”

Read more ...

Category: Press Releases

PVP-Gang7-8-13On Monday, Senator Patricia Van Pelt’s plan to help victims and witnesses of gang crime was signed into law by the governor.

The legislation, House Bill 1139, establishes the Gang Crime Witness Protection Program Fund, which will assist victims and witnesses who are actively aiding in the prosecution of gang members. Funds may be used to help pay temporary living costs, moving expenses, rent and other expenses of relocation. 

"This legislation will empower people who might be afraid to testify against members of organized crime regimes,” Van Pelt said. “If witnesses are willing to tell the authorities everything they know about criminal activity, they can help stop the violence that is rampant in our communities.”

Gang activity is a major cause of crime in Chicago and specifically in Van Pelt’s 5th District. Gang activity in Chicago rose by 25 percent from 2009 to 2012. In 2012, there were 506 murders; this total is up from 435 in 2011. Gang members were responsible for 61 percent of all homicides in 2011.

Sen. Van Pelt joined Gov. Pat Quinn, Rep. Chris Welch (D-Westchester) and U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-Chicago) for the signing ceremony at the Rev. B.T. Little Community Center.

Category: Press Releases

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