SPRINGFIELD – A 16-member ethics commission will be formed after a resolution sponsored by State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) passed the Senate this week.

“Legislators and lobbyists absolutely must be held to high standards,” Castro said. “No one should be able to profit from their public service.”

House Joint Resolution 93 creates the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying. The commission will be comprised of 16 members appointed by the Senate president, the Senate minority leader, the speaker of the House of Representatives, the House minority leader, the governor, the secretary of state and the attorney general.

Under the resolution, members of the commission may not have been registered as lobbyists within the previous five years, and the commission will be required to hold public hearings.

“As recent events have caused the public to lose trust in their legislator’s ethics, I hope this commission can help regain that trust,” Castro said.

Category: News

SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to lessen the threat of the ongoing pension crisis, State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) and the Senate passed a measure today that will consolidate certain local pensions.

“The number one budget issue legislators have been dealing with for decades is the pension crisis,” Castro said. “We got a small victory today. Consolidating local pension funds eases some of the burden of the looming crisis while still allowing our state’s brave first responders to receive the pensions they’ve earned.”

The bill is an omnibus package for Fiscal Year 2020 that will enact many changes to pension statute, chief among them the ability to consolidate. Under the bill, the roughly 650 separate pension funds for downstate police officers and firefighters will be consolidated into two individual and separate funds. The consolidation will happen over a 30-month transition period beginning upon the legislation becoming law and is estimated to save $160 million annually while not affecting individual pension amounts.

“I’ve been working alongside the governor and all of the advocacy groups that were a part of the task force to address this issue, and I’m happy that the Senate approved this program,” Castro said. “I look forward to seeing it signed into law, but this is only the first step. There’s still a lot of work to be done.”

Senate Bill 1300 was sent back by the House of Representatives after being amended in that chamber. Its passage by a vote of 42 – 12 is final, and it will now be sent to Gov. JB Pritzker for approval.

Category: News

SPRINGFIELD – To promote health and wellness across local communities, State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) and Elgin Councilman Baldemar Lopez will co-host a Health Fair and Flu Shot Clinic this month.

“It’s extremely important to stay healthy, especially during flu season, but it’s often difficult to find the time to stay on top of your wellness,” Castro said. “By centralizing several health and wellness providers into a single location, we’re giving people the opportunity to receive some of the services they might otherwise be unable to obtain.”

The Health Fair and Flu Shot Clinic will be held at Elgin High School on Saturday, Nov. 16 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Castro and Lopez will be joined by several vendors, including Walgreens, VNA Health Care, the Kane County Teachers Credit Union, the Illinois Department of Health and the Illinois Secretary of State’s Mobile Unit, who will provide health and wellness services to those in attendance. The event is free and open to the public, and the services provided will cater to all ages.

Elgin High School is located at 1200 Maroon Drive in Elgin. Those wishing to attend should park in the main parking lot and enter through Doors 7 and 8.

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Category: News

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate passed a measure today to cap the cost of insulin for diabetes patients. State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin), who was a chief-co sponsor of the bill, called on the Illinois House to pass the measure.

“Many people are finding it difficult to afford the insulin they need in order live,” Castro said. “By putting this cap in place, we’re helping to ensure that the families who are struggling to pay for their lifesaving medication aren’t left in financial ruin because of their illness.”

Senate Bill 667 caps the out-of-pocket cost for a 30-day supply of insulin at $100 per patient. It also directs the Office of the Attorney General to investigate the causes of the rising price of insulin and publish a report on their findings.

Having passed the Senate, the bill will now head to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Category: News

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