maternalSPRINGFIELD – While rates of maternal mortality are declining in other developed countries, the United States is experiencing a spike in deaths among pregnant and recently pregnant women and a wide and growing disparity among women based on their race and ethnicity.

State Senators Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) and Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) joined with advocates in Springfield this afternoon to discuss a comprehensive package of proposals to address the growing public health concern.

“Just because the pregnancy goes smoothly doesn’t mean the mother won’t have complications afterward,” Castro said. “We are careful to examine newborns and their progress after birth, so why shouldn’t we do the same for mothers?”

Senator Castro has introduced a plan that would address the lack of services experienced by many new mothers.

Senate Bill 1909 would create a pilot program to provide voluntary in-home nursing visits to low-income, first-time pregnant women; mandate quality control guidelines and hemorrhage protocols for birthing facilities; mandate insurance plans to cover medically necessary treatment for postpartum complications; and expand Medicaid coverage to continue for women during pregnancy and during the 12-month period post-birth.

Hutchinson’s proposal, contained in Senate Bill 132, would require the state to add into continuing education requirements for doctors and nurses training on implicit bias, which is defined as the unconscious attitudes or stereotypes that can affect behaviors, decisions and actions in the treatment of women and minority groups.

“We spend a lot of political capital and time in our reproductive discussion talking about babies,” Hutchinson said. “We spend precious little time on the unique needs of mothers, both before, during and after childbirth. This is an opportunity all across that political conversation to come together and say that we need to be doing all we can for women and their health care needs in the critical time after a baby is born and in that first year.”

A study released by the Illinois Department of Public Health late last year found that non-Hispanic Black women are six times as likely to die of a pregnancy related condition as non-Hispanic White women. The study also found that Black women have the highest rate of severe maternal morbidity, three times higher than the rate for White women.

Both Senate Bills 1909 and 132 were recently introduced in the Senate. Senate Bill 1909 has been assigned to the Senate Public Health Committee and Senate Bill 132 has been assigned to the Senate Licensed Activities Committee.

Category: News

04252018CM0552SPRINGFIELD – A measure to protect undocumented immigrant tenants from landlord harassment passed the Senate today thanks to Elgin Democrat State Senator Cristina Castro.

Senate Bill 1290 creates the Immigrant Tenant Protection Act, which prohibits landlords from questioning a tenant’s immigration status as a means of harassment or to force an eviction.

“We have to put a protection in place to ensure that landlords are not holding their tenants’ immigration status over their head to pressure higher rent or eviction,” said Castro.

Castro’s measure would allow tenants to report criminal activity or habitability issues without being targeted based on their immigration status.

Currently, the Illinois Human Rights Act does not protect individuals based on immigration status, nor does it place any limitations on when a landlord may request or share that information. 

“Tenants should feel free to come forward and report these important habitability issues no matter their status,” said Castro. “It is important, not only for the tenant’s safety, but the safety of the municipality.”

Senate Bill 1290 passed the Senate today and now moves to the House for consideration.

Category: News

nursesSPRINGFIELD – The State of Illinois currently does not have a limit on how many patients are assigned to registered nurses at one time, creating an unrealistic workload, but State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) is working to change that. 

Castro’s measure would create the Safe Patient Limits Act, setting a cap on how many patients can be assigned to a registered nurse in specified situations. This would allow Rn’s a lighter workload, which would give them more time with their assigned patients. 

“This doesn’t just relieve the workload for RNs,” Castro said. “It’s also safer for the patients and allows the RNs to give them the quality care they deserve.”

Senate Bill 1908 has been assigned to the Senate Public Health Committee.

Category: News

P1020483‘We don’t have time to waste’

ELGIN – State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) held a press conference Thursday to introduce legislation to increase renewable energy development throughout Illinois.

“We don’t have time to waste,” Castro said. “We have an impending threat to our homes and lives. This measure will give our state the chance to become a leader in green energy, and I don’t want to pass that up.”

This measure seeks to promote jobs and economic opportunity to minority and disadvantaged communities and also puts goals in place for Illinois to work toward becoming 100 percent dependent on renewable energy by 2050.

“This bill is not only about making sure Illinois gets 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources,” Castro said. “It’s about making sure that 100 percent of Illinois shares in the benefits of clean energy.”

Category: News

Contact Info

District Office:
The Professional Building
164 Division Street, Suite #102
Elgin, IL 60120
847-214-8864 phone
847-214-8867 facsimile

Springfield Office:
121 D Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
217-782-7746 phone


  1. First Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  2. Last Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  3. Your Email(*)
    Please let us know your email address.

Find Your Legislator