SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) has been named chair of the Senate Revenue Committee.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to chair one of the most important committees in the Senate,” Castro said. “I think more than any other committee, Revenue affects the most people in the state the most often because bills that come through the committee affect paychecks and bank accounts. It’s a responsibility that no one should take lightly, and I’m confident in my ability to be an effective chair.”

The Revenue Committee handles all legislation affecting ways in which the state bring in money, including taxes, fees and fines. It consists of nine members and typically holds hearings on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. during the legislative session.

Category: News

SPRINGFIELD – The Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform met in Springfield Thursday to discuss ethics in government. State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) focused on exposing and rooting out conflicts of interest.

“Conflicts of interest threaten the integrity of our government and erode the trust that citizens have in it,” Castro said. “The public, journalists and fellow legislators must be absolutely certain that when lawmakers are negotiating and voting on legislation, they’re doing so in the best interests of the people of our state and not the best interests of their bank accounts.”

Castro is among the lawmakers and reformers calling for an overhaul of the state’s economic interest disclosure statements in an effort to better identify conflicts and encourage ethical behavior. These forms are intended to publicly disclose elected officials financial interests, but the current forms are routinely criticized as being outdated and vague.

Castro supports legislation that would overhaul the forms and make them relevant. The legislation is Senate Bill 2506 and is pending in the Illinois Senate.

 “We need to ensure accuracy, truthfulness and transparency in statements of economic interest in order to fight the scourge of conflicts of interest,” Castro said.

Category: News

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate selected Don Harmon to be its next President Sunday afternoon. State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin), who joined her caucus colleagues in electing the new president, expressed optimism of the senate’s future under the new leadership.

“We had a very productive 2019, so I’m excited to see what 2020 has in store under President Harmon,” Castro said. “I’ve known President Harmon for a while, and I know the kind of person he is. I am beyond confident that he’ll fight hard for changes that the people of Illinois need, such as protecting working class families.”

Castro also voiced her gratitude toward former President John J. Cullerton, who resigned from his position Sunday after announcing his intention to do so in November.

“I’m grateful to President Cullerton for leading us through what was the most successful year since I’ve been in the Senate,” Castro said. “I will of course miss his leadership, but I am optimistic about the direction that President Harmon will take our caucus.”

President Harmon became the 39th President in Senate history.

Category: News

CHICAGO – The Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform met to discuss lobbying regulation Wednesday.

“I’m fed up with it, and I know the people of Illinois are fed up with it too,” said State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin). “It’s time we get to the bottom of the issue, figure out the root cause, and solve it once and for all in a way that prevents us from having to do yet another joint ethics commission a few years down the road.”

At Wednesday’s meeting, the commission focused on lobbying and lobbying reform. Representatives from the city of Chicago, the secretary of state, the Illinois Municipal League, and several other organizations were present to answer questions and provide insight.

“It’s clear that something needs to be done, but it can’t be one sided,” Castro said. “Whatever reforms come out of this commission will affect everyone, so we need to be sure that nobody faces undue burdens as a result.”

Castro sponsored the resolution to form the joint ethics commission last year, and was later appointed to sit on it. The commission has several additional meetings scheduled in the coming months and must file a report of its findings by March 31.

Category: News

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