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.

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Category: Press Releases

The Chicago Crusader - August 21, 2017 | original article

The future of Chicago Public Schools grew brighter Sunday, August 13 after the Illinois Senate voted 38-19 to override Governor Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto of the school funding bill.

Black leaders praised the move, saying CPS and minority students would have suffered under Rauner’s plan.

The vote moves the bill closer to helping CPS, which is counting heavily on the state to provide financial relief to the cash-strapped district.

The bill is now in the hands of the House, where it has 15 days to decide on the override. The deadline to send out state aid payments expired August 10, but the state lawmakers need to approve an “evidence-based” school funding formula before it can release those funds. The requirement is part of an agreement Democratic lawmakers included in a budget package that was passed in June.

Under Rauner’s plan, CPS would have received $463 less, according to an analysis by the Illinois state Board of Education.  Democrats were concerned that school districts such as Chicago would lose money in the next several years under Rauner’s plan, which would have redistributed funds from CPS to other school districts in the state. It’s a plan that Rauner said ensures fairness because the state is tired of bailing out CPS.

“For decades students have suffered under a broken formula that shortchanged low income children throughout the state,” said Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood). “The governor’s veto fell far from our goal of making a quality education a reality for every child in Illinois.”

State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago) issued the following statement.

“Youth throughout our state deserve the opportunity to have a fair shot at obtaining a quality education. My colleagues and I have worked tirelessly to ensure that our effort to bring equitable education to all parts of the state, was achieved. Our schools need the proper investment and certainty that Senate Bill 1 provides. I stand committed to making sure our schools stay open and fixing our broken funding formula.”

State Senator Emil Jones III (D-Chicago) said “Our governor’s attempt at holding our children’s education hostage is just another political ploy.”

Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) said, “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.”

The Senate override of Rauner’s amendatory veto is good news to CPS, which recently unveiled a $5.7 billion 2018 budget after it announced a $269 million shortfall August 11. City officials are mum about where the funds would come from.

In addition to funds from the city, the CPS budget is counting on $300 million in the school funding bill that’s now in the House.

Chicago officials say the CPS budget will serve as only a framework for the eventual fiscal 2018 budget.

Category: Latest

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.”  


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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.

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Category: Press Releases
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