­DelValle SandovalSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Marin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) welcomed Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s appointment of Miguel del Valle as the president of Chicago Board of Education as a new vision for Chicago’s children and a step forward towards achieving parity in education for all Illinoisans.

“Del Valle has dedicated his career to educating our children and we owe him for many of the success stories across our state,” said Sandoval, who served in the Senate with del Valle. “He has been a tireless leader in the Latino community and will serve as a much-needed voice in a nearly half Latino school district.”

Del Valle is a former state senator who graduated from Chicago Public Schools in 1969 and has since dedicated much of his career to advocating for high-quality education for Latino and African American students.

Del Valle was the first Latino elected to the State Senate, where he headed the Education Committee. He has served as vice chairman of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) and is a past chairman of the Illinois P-20 Council, a state education reform group created in 2009. He’s also a former board member of the education advocacy group Advance Illinois and the Illinois Federation for Community Schools.

Lightfoot announced del Valle’s appointment on June 3 and will take effect June 26.

Gas Tax Presser 3SPRINGFIELD – Billions of dollars in funding will be released for construction projects across the state under a bipartisan package of bills approved by the Illinois Senate today.

The $45 billion construction package is the culmination of a three month negotiation process led by State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago), who co-chaired a subcommittee that traveled the state this spring to learn about local infrastructure needs and potential revenue sources to pay for them.

“We did our due diligence in this process to the tune of eight hearings during which we heard over 23 hours of testimony from more than 140 individuals,” Sandoval said. “I think we ended up with a high-quality product that reflects the most urgent needs in Illinois and fairly distributes funds throughout the state.”

The construction plan is Illinois’ first in a decade. Since the last statewide construction plan in 2009, the condition of the state’s roads, bridges and public buildings have degraded, causing AAA to give Illinois’s infrastructure a grade of D.

“We’ve been underfunding our transportation system for decades and it’s time to step up and take serious action to make Illinois a leader in this category,” Sandoval said. “Millions of people use our transportation system on a daily basis and we can’t afford to wait any longer to perform maintenance that keeps them safe.”

The plan includes a modernization of Illinois’ motor fuel tax, which has not seen an update since 1990. The motor fuel tax will also be indexed to inflation to ensure that the state will have a sustainable revenue source to maintain its roads and bridges far into the future.

“We’re taking steps that will make Illinois a leader on transportation well into the future,” Sandoval said. “This is a historic, sustainable plan that will ensure we don’t delay needed maintenance on our infrastructure in the future.”

In addition to the improvements to Illinois’ public infrastructure, the program is also projected to bring over 500,000 new jobs to the state.

“Simply put, this proposal represents economic opportunity for our state,” Sandoval said. “Whether it be through the billions of dollars invested in our economy, the hundreds of new contracts that will be awarded to rebuild our state or the thousands of new jobs for Illinois’ hard working men and women, this investment is going to be provide a boost to every Illinoisan.”

Stern SandovalSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) voted Friday to pass a balanced budget for the state for the upcoming fiscal year that prioritizes funding for social programs and educational opportunities.

“After years of cuts to vital services under the last administration, I’m proud to support a balanced budget that brings certainty and stability to Illinois while providing needed funding to programs and services on which Illinoisans rely,” Sandoval said. “This action is necessary as we seek to repair the damage done over the last four years and move our state into the future.”

Some examples of additional funding for social programs under the new budget include:

  • $30 million in additional funding for the Child Care Assistance Program, which helps defray the costs of child care for working families;
  • $20 million in new funding to assist with the opening of the new Chicago Veteran’s Home;
  • $12 million in new funding to address violence prevention efforts statewide; and
  • $1.5 million in additional funding for domestic violence shelters.

“The purpose of government is to take care of those it represents and, in particular, those who are most vulnerable,” Sandoval said. “Cuts to our budget impeded our ability to fill that role in the past, but this new funding represents our commitment to providing vital services to Illinoisans well into the future.”

Additional funding for education at all levels is another major component of the state’s budget. Total investment in education from preschool to 12th grade amounts to over $8.8 billion, an all-time high in Illinois.

Another $50 million for the MAP program and $10 million for the AIM HIGH program, which provides financial assistance to middle-income students, is also included, as well as a five percent increase in support for community colleges and state universities.

“Investment in our schools is something everyone can get behind,” Sandoval said. “This will allow more students to pursue a postsecondary education and we’re providing greater incentive for these students to continue their education here in Illinois.”

Purple tieSPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) that would improve the safety of children on school buses passed the Illinois Senate Wednesday.

House Bill 2121 makes changes to the eligibility standards for individuals with criminal convictions applying for a bus driver license. The legislation would add several criminal offenses to the list of those that would make an individual eligible for a lifetime ban from receiving a license.

“When we think of school safety, we often limit our scope by thinking only of the building itself,” Sandoval said. “A student’s experience starts when he or she boards the bus and we need assurance that our children will be safe on their commute as well as in class.”

Criminal offenses that would newly allow an individual to be banned for life under the legislation include permitting the sexual abuse of a child, all aggravated battery offenses and loitering of a sexual predator near a public park.

“It goes without saying that people who have been convicted of these crimes are not fit to take care of our children,” Sandoval said. “This bill would update the statute to reflect that.”

The legislation also eliminates the lifetime ban on applicants with convictions for misdemeanor marijuana offenses and replaces it with a 20 year ban.

“With our current lifetime ban, we punish people for mistakes they made decades ago in some cases,” Sandoval said. “People with minor marijuana convictions deserve the opportunity to return to society as productive members.”

House Bill 2121 passed the Senate unanimously. The measure will now go to the governor’s desk.

Office Info

Springfield Office:
Senator 12th District
111 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706

District Office:
5807 W. 35th Street
Cicero, IL 60804