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

VanPelt-5-31-13State Senator Patricia Van Pelt’s tax credit for businesses hiring ex-offenders passed out of the General Assembly today with bipartisan support. This legislation, SB 1659, will expand the maximum tax credit for businesses who hire qualified ex-offenders from $600 to $1,500.

“This legislation 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.”

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Category: Press Releases

VanPelt-SB1Senator Patricia Van Pelt voted against Senate Bill 1 today. The pension plan failed by a vote of 16-42, Van Pelt released the following statement:

“There are no easy answers to a problem as large as the Illinois pension problem. We voted for fair, negotiated legislation earlier this month when the Senate passed Senate Bill 2404. We are talking about the livelihoods and pension futures of hardworking employees, and the drastic, non-negotiated cuts proposed in Senate Bill 1 are unacceptable.

“This proposed legislation violates the Illinois Constitution and could very well end up struck by the Illinois Supreme Court. In that case, this plan would save the state no money and we would be right back where we started. We already passed a fair, constitutional plan out of the Senate and that plan should be called for a vote in the House. ”

Category: Press Releases

VanPelt-FilmTaxApprovedRecently, Illinois has been featured in films and television programs such as “The Dark Knight,” “Barbershop,” and “Chicago Fire.” State Senator Patricia Van Pelt’s (D-Chicago 5th) plan to expand the state’s film tax credit to keep Illinois on film passed the Senate today with bipartisan support.

Last week, the senator was joined in Executive Committee by actor Billy Zane and producer Bob Teitel. Zane, a Chicago native known for his roles in “Titanic” and “The Phantom,” and Teitel, producer of “Barbershop,” were in the Capitol to support Senate Bill 1816.

“This bill is about Illinois jobs and competitiveness. This bill is about labor,” Zane said. “It benefits film producers and actors, but it also creates many blue-collar jobs. This will stop the drain of talent from Illinois to the coasts, keeping actors in Illinois to raise their families.”

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Category: Press Releases

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