Text Size
Login
config

Castro

  • Castro champions bipartisan economic tool to attract new jobs

    castro 092017ELGIN- The 22nd Senate District now has a new bipartisan economic development program, thanks to a measure championed by Democratic Senator Cristina Castro of Elgin.

    House Bill 162 reinstates the Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) program, allowing the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to offer tax credits to businesses that invest in Illinois.

    “This new bipartisan law will help energize our economy and create good-paying jobs for our residents,” Castro said. “I look forward to continuing my work to increase economic development opportunities and investments in our communities.”

    EDGE tax credits are a competitive economic development program that helps Illinois attract and retain jobs. This incentive helps encourage business growth.

    ‘It’s important that we utilize every tool at our disposal to attract and retain good paying jobs for Illinois residents,” Castro said. 

    House Bill 162 requires the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to repossess economic development funds if a business granted the tax credit does not fulfill their part of the contract.

    That money would then be distributed to the local workforce investment area.

    EDGE credit recipients are also required to submit an annual report to DCEO containing supplier diversity information to help promote diversity in state economic incentives and programs. 

    The Illinois Manufacturer Association (IMA) supported passage of this key economic incentive.

    “The IMA is pleased that legislators passed a short-term extension of the EDGE tax credit,” Mark Denzler, Vice President & COO of IMA said. “It's an important tool to help attract and retain jobs.”

    House Bill 162 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support and was signed into law this week.

  • Castro champions proven economic program for local businesses

    castro 050417ELGIN- The 22nd Senate District may be one step closer to reinstating a bipartisan economic development program, thanks to a measure championed by Democratic Senator Cristina Castro of Elgin.

    House Bill 162 reinstates the Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) program, allowing the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to offer tax credits to businesses that invest in Illinois.

    “This bipartisan legislation will help energize our economy and create good-paying jobs for local residents,” Castro said.

    EDGE tax credits are an economic development program that helps Illinois attract and retain jobs.

    House Bill 162 will require the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to repossess economic development funds if a business granted the tax credit does not fulfill their part of the contract.

    That money would then be distributed to the local workforce investment area.

    EDGE credit recipients will also be required to submit an annual report to DCEO containing supplier diversity information to help promote diversity in state economic incentives and programs.  

    The Illinois Manufacturer Association supported passage of this economic incentive.

    “The IMA is pleased that legislators passed a short-term extension of the EDGE tax credit,” Mark Denzler, Vice President & COO of IMA said. “It's an important tool to help attract and retain jobs.”

    House Bill 162 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support.

  • Castro passes measure that would help prevent auto collisions

    Auto dealerSPRINGFIELD – Obstructions in car windshields of test-driven vehicles has led State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) to act on life saving legislation that would require dealerships to remove decals on vehicles before leaving the lot.

    The measure, House Bill 733, arose out of a tragic situation where 22 year old Brenden Burke was victim to a preventable fatal accident.

    Burke was struck and killed in 2016 after a vehicle being test-driven from a nearby car dealer turned left into Burke’s path. The driver of the other vehicle had obstructed vision because of the number of decals and paper work left on the driver side windshield by the dealership.

    “The story of Brenden Burke is a tragic, yet highly preventable, one,” said Castro. “There is absolutely no reason decals and paper work should be obstructing the view of a person test-driving an unfamiliar vehicle.”

  • Castro works to ensure women have safe access to abortion

    Sen. Cristina CastroSPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate voted Wednesday to ensure women in Illinois will continue to safely and legally exercise their right to choose whether or not to have an abortion.

    House Bill 40 removes the "trigger" provision from a 1975 Illinois law that would reinstate a previous state policy banning abortion in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. Additionally, the legislation would allow abortion coverage for individuals on Medicaid or covered by State Employee Health Insurance plans.

    State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin), a chief co-sponsor of the measure, stated Wednesday that it is absolutely necessary to ensure Illinois women continue to have the right to choose to move forward with a pregnancy.

    “These types of decisions should be between a woman and her doctor,” Castro said. “We need to make sure women have a safe place to legally exercise this right. Illinois should be a state that continues to move forward and helps to preserve the rights of women. Should the federal courts overturn Roe V. Wade, it would mean overturning 40 years of progress for civil rights. Today I voted to safeguard those rights. I urge the governor to sign this legislation into law.”

    House Bill 40 passed the Senate Wednesday and will be sent to the governor for approval.

  • Castro: Illinois’ heroes should not be burdened with unnecessary fees while serving our country

    castro 081817ELGIN- Active duty military members will now be able to cancel internet and television services with greater ease, thanks to Elgin Democratic State Senator Cristina Castro.

    “Illinois’ heroes should not be burdened with unnecessary fees while serving our country,” Castro said. “They have answered the call for duty and it’s our job to make their relocation easier.”

    House Bill 2449 was signed into law today.

    This measure allows any service member who receives orders to relocate for a period of service of at least 90 days to terminate or suspend contracts for internet services, television and cable services, athletic club or gym memberships and satellite radio services.

    “This one small update will eliminate unnecessary hurdles for our active duty military,” Castro said.

    The termination or suspension can be completed by delivering a written or electronic notice to the service provider and delivering a copy of the official military orders to the service provider that calls him or her to military service.

    House Bill 2449 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support.

  • Cristina Castro: Trust Act protects families (VIDEO)

    castro 050417SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Senate approved a measure today that limits local police interaction with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement actions, and rebuilds trust between police and immigrant communities. The Trust Act prohibits law enforcement agencies from engaging in immigration enforcement unless a warrant issued by a judge is presented, bans detaining a person based on their immigration status and forbids the use of any state or local resources to help create a federal registry based on race, national origin, religion or other protected classes.

    Illinois State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) released the following statements following the vote on Senate Bill 31:

    “We should be fostering safe communities where a person’s fear of hostility, or having their families torn apart, does not get in the way of public safety. A person in the shadows often will not come forward to report crimes against themselves or other people because they fear their status may be exposed. When someone’s fear gets in the way of cooperation, our communities become less safe. This legislation gives us the tools to put Illinois on the right track, keep families together and build stronger communities.”

  • Cristina Castro’s job creating measure signed into law

    castro 081817AURORA –The city of Elgin will soon see a face lift and an influx of economic opportunity thanks to a new law signed today.

    State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) sponsored Senate Bill 1783 which extends the Illinois Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program to free up much-needed funding for the restoration of older buildings in downtown Elgin. 

    “River Edge economic incentives make up a proven, bipartisan economic tool that increases investment in our communities to create millions of new good-paying jobs,” Castro said. “The extension of this important program will help us preserve our local history while we continue to see the job-creating benefits of the investments we have made in Elgin’s riverfront and downtown revitalization.”

    According to the city of Elgin, about 100 buildings in the downtown Elgin area can now potentially be rehabilitated.

    “I came to Springfield to make sure the people of my district are receiving the things they need from the state, such as job creation and economic development. This will help accomplish that,” Castro said. “This legislation not only helps restore older structures to their former beauty, but helps us accomplish our big-picture goals such as job creation.”

    The measure passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. Senate Bill 1783 goes into effect immediately. 

  • Elgin-area schools would gain under new school funding formula

    castro 050417SPRINGFIELD — High-poverty school districts, shortchanged for decades under Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation education funding formula, could see a significant influx of funding to level the playing field with wealthier suburban districts under a landmark school funding reform measure that passed in both houses of the legislature this week.

    “Nobody disputes that our funding formula in Illinois is outdated and unfair. Senate Bill 1 will bring millions of dollars to Elgin schools and provide millions more in property tax relief for homeowners,” said State Sen. Cristina Castro. “I urge Gov. Rauner to sign it into law as soon as he receives it.”

    Under the legislation, School District 300 would receive an additional $1.6 million. School District 46 would receive an additional $14.5 million and an estimated $20.6 million in property relief to homeowners.

    Senate Bill 1 received support from thousands of school administrators, superintendents, principals, educators, taxpayers and advocates for fair school funding. It would be the first adjustment to the state’s school funding formula in more than 20 years. Currently Illinois labors under a system considered one of the worst in the nation because of its disproportionate reliance on local property wealth.

    An analysis of Illinois State Board of Education figures this week by Funding Illinois’ Future – a coalition that advocates for school funding reform – shows potential funding increases for local school districts under Senate Bill 1. Factors such as a school district’s numbers of students with disabilities, English language learners and low-income students figure into the funding model.

    The legislation also provides extra support for the neediest districts and offers property tax relief. Under the legislation, no school district would receive less funding under Senate Bill 1 than they have received under Illinois’ current school funding formula. The measure awaits the governor’s signature to become law.

  • Few specifics, missed opportunities in governor's budget speech (VIDEO)

    budget ftr 021517

  • New Senate session: swearing in, getting to work with term limits

    100thGAbegins

  • Senate builds unanimous support for automatic voter registration

    AVR

    After carefully negotiating changes requested by the governor, state agencies and other stakeholders, State Senator Andy Manar’s plan to modernize the voter registration process received unanimous support in the Illinois Senate today.

    “I am proud that the state Senate once again has voted to bring automatic voter registration to Illinois, and I hope the House will follow our lead and that Governor Rauner will sign it into law,” said Manar, a Democrat from Bunker Hill.

    If enacted, eligible Illinois citizens would be given the option to opt out of registering when they interact with certain state agencies, as opposed to the current system that requires citizens to opt-in.

    “At a time when we're seeing a major rollback of voting rights across the country, I'm proud that Democrats and Republicans came together and voted to expand access to the ballot in Illinois,” said Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago). “Voter registration laws disproportionately affect minorities, women, seniors and low-income individuals. Automatic voter registration will remove a barrier to voting and help ensure that all eligible Illinoisans are able to participate in our democracy should they so choose.”

    “I am happy to see this measure receive such great support from my colleagues on both sides of the aisle,” said Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin). “The right to vote is a pillar of our democracy. Automatic voter registration will bring more participation and allow more voices to be heard in the legislative process.”

    “Automatic voter registration is important to the health of our democracy,” said Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora). “There are so many existing roadblocks to participation. Something as basic as registration should not be one of those roadblocks. I am dismayed by how low voter turnout is, especially in local and off-cycle elections, and I believe that automatic registration will give more people an opportunity to let their voices be heard in the political process.”

    Currently, there are more than 2 million Illinoisans who are eligible to vote but aren’t registered. Automatic voter registration will significantly reduce this number and will remove a barrier to voting for all eligible Illinoisans.

    “We should make it easier to vote, not harder,” said Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills). “This legislation will ensure that every Illinois resident who is eligible to vote doesn’t have to go through the sometimes burdensome process to register. This only enhances the voice of the voter during an election.”

    Rather than giving individuals the option to fill out a separate voter registration form when conducting business with a state agency, the measure would allow agencies to electronically transfer an individual’s data to the State Board of Elections. Automatically registering eligible voters will streamline bureaucracy, do away with redundant paperwork and save taxpayer dollars.

    “When it comes to modernizing state government, automatic voter registration checks all the boxes: it eliminates redundant paperwork, it cuts down on the number of times people have to interact with a government office, it curbs voter fraud, and it saves money,” said Manar. “The time is right for this reform.”

    “Not only does automatic voter registration remove a barrier to voting for eligible citizens, it is a common-sense way to modernize the registration process, reduce bureaucracy and duplication and save the state money,” said Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake). “I hope this good government reform receives the same bipartisan support in the House and from the governor as it did in the Senate.”

    “We should be making it easier, not harder, for people to vote and have a direct say in who represents them,” said Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood). “Making automatic voter registration law will save taxpayer dollars, streamline a government function and ensure the ballot box is as easily accessible as possible for voters.”

    In March 2015, Oregon was the first state to enact automatic voter registration. Since then, California, West Virginia, Vermont, Connecticut, Alaska and the District of Columbia have adopted automatic registration, and thirty other states introduced legislation this year.

    “In the end, this effort is going to register people to vote, no matter who they vote for – Democrats or Republicans. It’s going to save money, modernize government and streamline our system,” Manar said. “And it’s going to lead more citizens of our state, regardless of where they live or their party affiliation, to participate in our electoral process. That means we all win as citizens of the state of Illinois.”

  • Senate Democrats Balanced Budget vs. Rauner's Rhetoric (VIDEO)

    may31 presser

  • Senate Democrats join coalition to improve lives of Illinois women (VIDEO)

    womens rally 020817

  • Senate Democrats react to governor's State of the State address (VIDEO)

    gov sos 012517

  • Senate Dems react to Trump's DACA decision

    Castro DACA 080617This week, Senate Democrats expressed disappointment and outrage at the Trump administration’s backward decision to rescind legal and immigration protection for children who were brought to this country and are now productive parts of our economy and society.

    Senator Cristina Castro spoke at a press conference with other state and local elected officials business leaders, and two Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients in support of Dreamers and a legislative solution to the Trump administration's announcement he would end the program.

  • Student debt relief could be on its way in Illinois

    college lecture hallSPRINGFIELD – A measure that would protect college students from mounting student loan debt passed the Illinois Senate on Wednesday.

    Senate Bill 1351 establishes the Student Loan Bill of Rights in Illinois to provide as much protection as possible for student borrowers, a population that frequently is targeted by bad actors in the student loan industry.

    State Senator Cristina Castro (D- Elgin), who is a co-sponsor of the legislation, noted how important it is to make sure both transparency and fairness is brought to the student loan lending system.

    “Going to college shouldn’t be the financial burden it has become,” said Castro. “Too often, young people are graduating from universities with crippling debt and have no idea what resources are available to them, or understand their rights as a borrower. This legislation would bring clarity to the process and prevent more young people from defaulting on their loans.”

    The Student Loan Bill of Rights would help to ensure students and their families receive clear information about the money they borrow for higher education and how their student loans are serviced.

    The legislation received significant bipartisan support and now goes to the House for consideration.