Castro passes bill to create transparency in vision care plansSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Cristina Castro is spearheading a measure that would cut down on referrals to out-of-network providers and give vision care patients more freedom and flexibility to choose where to receive vision care services.

“I have heard time and again the hoops people have to jump through to get affordable vision care and eyeglasses,” said Castro (D-Elgin). “Removing barriers and increasing transparency for vision care patients will help make sure that they can access in-network providers without being charged extraneous fees set by their vision plan.”

Senate Bill 764 would prohibit vision care plans from requiring a vision care provider to, as a condition of their participation, provide services at a fee set by the vision care plan, unless the services are in-network and covered under the plan. The bill also requires vision care providers to disclose any business interests they have with an out-of-network source or supplier they recommended to a patient. Upon the patient’s request, vision care providers would be required to offer in-network sources instead.

A 2017 study published in the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology found that vision impairments, loss or blindness can cost a person an average of $16,838 annually. That total does not include routine vision and eye care exams or care for a condition that is not associated with vision loss.

Senate Bill 764 passed the Senate Thursday.

Category: News

Castro passes measure to ensure a living wage for employees working on solar projectsSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Cristina Castro advanced a measure through the Senate that would expand prevailing wage requirements to include public works solar projects.

“The Climate and Equitable Jobs Act and Future Energy Jobs Act gave Illinois the chance to become a leader in green energy, and we are seeing renewable developers step up to make that happen,” said Castro (D-Elgin). “It is critical to ensure workers at these important projects are paid fairly as they work to build a more reliable future for our children and grandchildren.”

House Bill 3351 requires applicants to the Illinois Solar for All program that apply after the effective date of this Act to pay the prevailing wage on projects that receive renewable energy credits. The bill would provide exemptions for residential buildings and small projects on houses of worship.

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Category: News

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Senate approves Castro measure to provide equal access to township assistanceSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Cristina Castro and State Representative Anna Moeller passed legislation through the House and Senate aimed at providing organizations with equal access to township assistance, regardless of the immigration status of the population they serve.

“We need to hold townships accountable in providing resources without bias,” said Castro (D-Elgin). “This measure reaffirms our commitment to equal opportunities for all Illinois residents.”

House Bill 1283 amends the Township Code to prevent a township official from denying funding to an organization based upon the perceived citizenship or immigration status of the person who would receive those funds from the organization. The bill would codify existing federal and state protections already afforded to an organization into the Township Code.

“We have made great strides in securing protections for immigrant communities here in Illinois, but that effort is not over,” said Castro. “This legislation is another example of putting people over politics and ensuring service providers in our state won’t face discrimination when they go to apply for township assistance.”

House Bill 1283 passed both chambers and heads to the governor’s desk for approval.

Category: News

Elgin receives $44,000 for tourism industry with support from CastroELGIN – With strong support from State Senator Cristina Castro, $44,000 will be coming to Elgin to boost local tourism efforts and attract visitors to destination activities throughout Illinois.

“With more than 1,000 hotel rooms and a community that has deep cultural roots and historic treasures for all to enjoy, Elgin has so much to offer visitors and residents alike,” said Castro (D-Elgin). “As a lifelong resident, I know that the investments we make in our communities will generate benefits for years to come.”

Through the Illinois Travel and Tourism Grant Program, the state is matching local funds used to promote destinations, attractions and events through marketing such as promotional materials, media production costs, billboards and giveaways at trade shows. The ultimate goal of the program is to support promotional projects that increase visitation and overnight stays, thereby fueling the local economies across the state.

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Category: News

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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-C Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
217-782-7746 phone


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