Latest News

Good things are happening in Cherry Valley! Today there was a groundbreaking for Happy Life Laundromat by Cherry Bowl. This is a state-of-the-art facility that will use high-efficiency equipment and isn't coin operated. You will use a debit/credit card to load money onto a Happy Life Laundromat frequent shopper reward card. Congratulations and thank you to all the partners that made this happen for the community.

Thank you to the Illinois Collation of Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) for helping me host a citizenship workshop. Navigating the U.S. citizenship process can be challenging and these workshops allow applicants to have their questions and concerns addressed by knowledgeable individuals. I was delighted that many individuals both young and old took advantage of this opportunity.     

State Rep. Joe Sosnowski (R-Rockford) participated in the groundbreaking for the new McDonald’s in Rockton on Wednesday. The new restaurant will be at the corner of Rockton Road and Quail Trail, 4567 E. Rockton Road. Applications for employment at the new McDonald's will be accepted in October, with the restaurant set to open in mid-December. To read more, please click HERE

By Scot Bertram | Illinois News Network

A new law is designed to protect Illinois consumers from years of back-billing by local utility providers.

State Rep. Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, says previously there was no limit as to how many years of payments could be recovered if a local, municipal utility discovered an issue.

“There’s been numerous instances locally and around the state, where through no fault of the customer, municipalities or sewer plants have gone back and required that they back bill as much as ten years,” Sosnowski said. “That’s just way too much of a burden for something that’s not the consumer’s fault.”

Sosnowski says the amounts owed can be enough to cause enormous hardship for individuals or businesses in the state...
SPRINGFIELD State Representative Joe Sosnowski (R-Rockford) issued the following statement tonight following final passage of a bipartisan compromise on education funding reform, Senate Bill 1947, which was approved by the House of Representatives by a vote of 73-34-3:

"This compromise bill brings a scholarship system to Illinois that will allow students from all walks of life to access excellent schools and will allow parents the opportunity to choose which type of education best fits their family. If families are in failing school districts, they will have alternatives. "

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State Rep. Joe Sosnowski
SPRINGFIELD – A new bipartisan law co-sponsored by State Representative Joe Sosnowski (R-Rockford) will enable local school districts to keep more of the federal funds designated for them by the U.S. Department of Education by reversing a provision in state law that, until now, allowed the State to withhold a significant portion of those funds to cover teacher retirement costs. House Bill 656, recently signed into law as Public Act 100-0340, ensures that local school districts across Illinois, including Rockford Public Schools District 205, will get to keep federal funds provided to them under Title I and Title II  for the normal costs of the employer’s share of a teacher’s retirement contribution. House Bill 656 is estimated to save Rockford Public Schools District 205 an estimated $1.69 million.

“This new law is a victory for local school children, teachers and parents in Rockford and in every part of our state,” Rep. Sosnowski said. “Local school districts will now receive the federal funds owed to them for normal teacher pension costs, which the State of Illinois has been unfairly withholding from them to pay for the state’s own mistakes of the distant and recent past.”
School choice programs provide families with the opportunity to choose the academic environment that best matches their students’ educational needs, rather than being restricted to attending a school based only on where they live. Many low-income families face financial barriers limiting where their children can attend school, and as a result are sometimes forced without other options, to attend failing schools. Charter schools have helped create some options.

A recently proposed scholarship program attempts to increase school choice opportunities for all families by creating a state-funded program where individuals and corporations can donate to a scholarship program and receive a “dollar-for-dollar income tax break” based on their program contribution. A Chicago Tribune Editorial supported the initiative, calling it “a lifeboat for families trapped in chronically underperforming schools”. Seventeen other states have a similar tax-credit scholarship program.

Opponents have condemned the proposed program, arguing that it will hurt public school districts. David F. Larson, a superintendent of Glenbard Township High School District 87 wrote in the Chicago Tribune to “beware of snake oil salesman”, and ultimately to avoid scholarship proposals because it would funnel tax revenue away from public schools. This is a legitimate concern if you are looking to protect the monopoly of public education.  The reality is that parents deserve a choice especially in cases where there are underperforming school districts.  We in state government should do everything we can to empower parents, especially in low-income neighborhoods.