­Sandoval Decatur HearingDECATUR – The Subcommittees on Capital for the Senate Transportations and Appropriations II Committees held their third joint hearing in Decatur Monday, hearing from local groups about capital infrastructure needs.

Representatives from local government, health care professionals, transportation experts and other interested parties testified before the subcommittees about existing capital and needs that should be addressed in a potential bill to release funding for infrastructure improvements around the state.

“Today we were able to build on the conversations we’ve had so far and become better informed about infrastructure projects that are needed here in the Decatur area,” said State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago), Chair of the Transportation Committee. “This puts us one step closer to introducing a comprehensive bill to fund infrastructure improvements throughout our state.”

Illinois has not passed a capital bill in a decade. In 2018, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave Illinois a C- grade, saying the state’s transportation infrastructure shows signs of deterioration and faces increasing vulnerability.

The subcommittees will hold at least three more hearings on the following dates:

  • Monday, April 8 in Peoria – Bradley University, Peplow Pavilion inside the Hayden-Clark Alumni Center, 1501 W. Bradley Ave., Peoria
  • Tuesday, April 16 in Chicago – Bilandic Building, 160 N. LaSalle St., Chicago
  • Monday, April 22 in Elgin – Gail Borden Public Library, 270 N. Grove Ave., Elgin

“We still have a lot of people to hear from before we’re ready to make decisions about what might be in a capital bill,” Sandoval said. “I’m looking forward to traveling to other parts of the state with my colleagues to see what projects we need to fund to rebuild Illinois.”

Sandoval Tobacco 21SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) helped pass a bill Thursday raising the legal purchasing age for tobacco products from 18 to 21 years.

House Bill 345 was backed by the American Cancer Society, American Lung Association and other health organizations, and Sandoval said he was proud to take action on behalf of Illinois' youth.

“Tobacco companies have a long track record of targeting young people, particularly in the neighborhoods I represent,” Sandoval said. “This bill will be major win in protecting teenagers from a dangerous and potentially lifelong addiction.”

Illinois would be the seventh state in the country to raise the tobacco purchasing age to 21. More than 300 towns across the country have also raised the age, including 24 municipalities in Illinois. Chicago, Highland Park, Buffalo Grove, Evanston and Peoria are a few of the cities in Illinois that have raised the age.

Raising the age to purchase tobacco has been proven to reduce the number of high schoolers who smoke. In Chicago, where the age is already 21, authorities recorded a drop in the rate of high school-aged students who smoke from 13.6 percent in 2011 to 6 percent in 2017. Raising the age was cited as a key component of the decrease.

“We’ve already seen Tobacco 21 laws be highly effective around the country, including in my district in Chicago,” Sandoval said. “This law has the capacity to drastically improve public health throughout Illinois.”

House Bill 345 21 passed 39-16. It will now go to the governor’s desk.  

Sandoval 2019 CommitteeSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) applauded the Illinois Department of Transportation’s announcement Tuesday that it will host a conference to provide learning and networking opportunities for firms whose owners often face disadvantages in the marketplace.

“I have long been an advocate for providing greater opportunities for businesses owned by disadvantaged individuals and I was glad to see that Gov. Pritzker committed in his budget speech to advocating for more minority contracting opportunities,” Sandoval said.

The conference will focus on Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) firms, which are businesses owned by individuals who are socially and economically disadvantaged such as minorities, women or persons with disabilities.

The conference will take place March 25 and 26 at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel in Springfield. It will include educational and skill-building workshops, best practices and networking opportunities for Illinois DBE firms.

A recent report submitted by IDOT showed that the department is lagging behind in terms of awarding prime contracts to minority-owned firms.

“The Department of Transportation needs to do a far better job at providing sustainable prime contract opportunities for minority-owned firms,” Sandoval said. “I am certain that IDOT’s newly appointed secretary, Omer Osman, a 29 year veteran of the department, will make supplier diversity gains a hallmark of his tenure.”

Visit IDOT.Illinois.gov and search “TCTR” for registration information and other event details.

Sandoval 2019 CommitteeSPRINGFIELD – A bill sponsored by State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) that would help protect confidential documents submitted with driver’s license of identification card applications passed the Senate Transportation Committee Tuesday.

“You have a reasonable expectation of privacy when you submit personal information to any entity and that includes the state of Illinois,” Sandoval said. “This piece of legislation will ensure that no one’s confidential information will end up in the wrong hands just because they applied for a driver’s license or ID card.”

Senate Bill 1344 prohibits confidential documents submitted to the Secretary of State for driver’s license or ID card applications from being released through the Freedom of Information Act. The measure provides that these confidential documents may only be released to the following parties:

  • The individual to whom the driver’s license or ID card was issued
  • Officers and employees of the Secretary of State in charge of issuing driver’s licenses and ID cards
  • Law enforcement officials for a criminal or civil law investigation
  • Any other entity the Secretary has authorized by rule

The bill passed the Transportation Committee unanimously. It will now go before the entire Senate.

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