040122HAO00321ELGIN – A new law signed Friday will help law enforcement fight organized retail theft and keep workers and customers safe. State Senator Cristina Castro co-sponsored the measure and looks forward to the assistance it will bring to police and prosecutors.

“Chicago and the surrounding areas have seen a concerning rise in these ‘smash-and-grab’ organized thefts,” said Castro (D-Elgin). “This new law will give law enforcement and prosecutors the tools they need to investigate and reduce these crimes.”

The new law, filed as House Bill 1091, codifies a definition of organized retail crime into statute as the theft of retail merchandise with intent to sell.

Additionally, it gives prosecutors new opportunities to bring charges against ringleaders of these crimes regardless of where these crimes take place. For example, if the conspiracy, theft and selling occurred in different jurisdictions, each jurisdiction now has the ability to prosecute the entire crime. The attorney general can also prosecute via a statewide grand jury.

“Not only will this law help law enforcement fight these crimes, it will hopefully deter groups from taking part in them in the future,” Castro said.

To prevent stolen goods from being sold online, the law also creates the Integrity, Notification and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces for Consumers Act, or the INFORM Act, to require third-party sellers to verify users’ identity with bank account numbers or other personal identifying information. Sellers who do not comply may be suspended.

Most provisions in the new law take effect immediately, but the INFORM Act is effective Jan. 1, 2023.

Category: News

040622CM1129ELGIN - State Senator Cristina Castro supported a new law signed Tuesday that creates the Crime Reduction Task Force to address rising rates of crime throughout the state.

“Many of our neighbors are concerned about violence in our communities,” said Castro (D-Elgin). “That’s why my colleagues in the General Assembly and I prioritized public safety measures this year to keep Illinoisans safe by addressing the root causes of violence.”

The Crime Reduction Task Force will be made up of a bipartisan group of senators and representatives, alongside law enforcement, advocates, legal and criminal justice professionals, and survivors tasked with exploring ways to reduce crime in Illinois and presenting a report to the General Assembly and governor with their findings.

Additionally, the new law signed Tuesday will create a Violent Crime Witness Protection Fund to give greater protections to victims and witnesses of crime. It will also create the Co-Responder Pilot Program in multiple downstate and suburban cities to prioritize crisis intervention, trauma-centered support and case management when it comes to preventing crimes.

The task force’s recommendations will be presented to the General Assembly and the governor by March 2024. The law goes into effect immediately.

Category: News

OPenSignELGIN – The last round of Back to Business grants have been awarded, and State Senator Cristina Castro is pleased to see this small business assistance coming to Cook and Kane counties.

“Our businesses have shown such resiliency throughout this pandemic,” said Castro (D-Elgin). “The Back to Business grant program was vital for keeping the doors of restaurants and local shops open through the tough two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

More than $2.5 million was awarded to dozens of businesses in the district Castro represents. The B2B grants are awarded by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity using funds allocated to them by the American Rescue Plan through last year’s state budget.

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Category: News

033122CM0370CHICAGO – As Illinois continues to improve state finances, working families can expect to see more money in their pocket, thanks to support from State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) for the Fiscal Year 2023 budget and tax relief plan, which were signed into law Tuesday.

“Illinois taxpayers have been fed up with our state’s poor credit rating and financial stress for years,” Castro said. “Now, our state’s credit ratings are continuously improving and important social services are given the boost they need to provide for all Illinoisans.”

The FY 23 budget builds upon the responsible spending decisions over the last few years—allowing Illinois to make a $500 investment into the pension system and set aside $1 billion to the state’s Rainy Day Fund to support the state through economic challenges.

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


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