­Sandoval School GroupSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Martin A. Sandoval is supporting a renewed commitment to ensuring Illinois’ working-class students can afford college tuition.

“Every Illinois student has a right to pursue a college degree and rising costs are currently creating an unfair barrier that prevents low-income students from doing so,” Sandoval said. “Educational opportunities should be equal for every student in our state, and I’m glad to see the governor commit to help level the playing field.”

Last week, the governor signed House Bill 2505, which allows universities to retain unused scholarship funds from the state’s AIM HIGH – Aspirational Institutional Match Helping Illinois Grow Higher Education – program. The measure also gives institutions greater flexibility in administering the grants.

The governor has proposed increasing funding for the AIM High program by $10 million (40 percent), increasing higher education funding by 5 percent and extending MAP grants to an additional 16,000 low-income students.

“The MAP and AIM HIGH programs are critical to students from working class families in my district who may struggle with rising tuition and fees,” Sandoval (D-Chicago) said. “The students at Illinois’ world-class public colleges and universities faced a brutal four years under the last administration and I’m glad to see that Gov. Pritzker is committed to making Illinois a leader in higher education.”

­Stern SandovalSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) commended Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s decision Monday to file a brief on behalf of the state of Illinois opposing a citizenship question on the U.S. Census.

“The inclusion of a citizenship question on the Census is a clear effort to deter immigrant and minority populations from participating in the Census,” Sandoval said. “The communities I represent are already undercounted and this policy would even further limit their representation in government.”

Illinois joins a coalition of 18 other states, 16 local governments and the U.S. Conference of Mayors in opposition to the question.

In January 2019, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled in favor of a lawsuit to block the census from gathering citizenship information. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case this April.

“I applaud Attorney General Raoul for recognizing the importance of this issue to Illinois’ minority and immigrant communities,” Sandoval said. “The State of Illinois stands in steadfast opposition to this racist policy, and we will do everything in our power to prevent this question from appearing on the Census.”

­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.  

Office Info

Springfield Office:
Senator 12th District
111 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
217-782-5304

District Office:
5807 W. 35th Street
Cicero, IL 60804
708-656-2002