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The Majority Report 9/24/18 - Castro calls on governor to obey his own law


Castro calls on governor to obey his own law

Sen. Cristina CastroSmall business advocates including State Senator Cristina Castro are calling on the governor to better implement a law he signed but so far has neglected to enforce.

Castro (D-Elgin) sponsored a law to ensure companies benefiting from state tax credits take care to do business with minority- or woman-owned companies. The law requires any business receiving an EDGE tax credit to report its supplier diversity numbers to the state.

While the bill passed the Illinois Senate unanimously and met little opposition in the House, the governor’s hand-picked agency heads have chosen to apply the law to new applicants for the tax credit only, rather than all existing applicants.

“It’s outrageous that Gov. Rauner would sign this bill then instruct his departments to act like it doesn’t exist,” Castro said.

“We passed this legislation to get a better look at our state’s strengths and weaknesses in terms of encouraging economic diversity, and there’s no way we can do that if the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity does not enforce compliance with the law.”

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Hastings represents Illinois at voter security summit

Sen. Michael E. Hastings

State Senator Michael Hastings, who continues to fight for fair and secure elections in Illinois, represented the state at a bipartisan conference focused on addressing the matter.

Hastings, a Tinley Park Democrat, was selected to participate in the event on election security and how states can team up to protect voting processes. Policymakers across the nation connected and exchanged ideas on how to strengthen state laws to ensure the voting process this midterm elections is secure.

“Our democracy is built on open elections,” Hastings said. “Many have fought and given the ultimate sacrifice to assure our nation’s citizens’ voices are heard. We cannot afford to allow for foreign entities to hinder this sacred right.”

Hastings has been a strong voice in guaranteeing the Illinois State Board of Elections takes every necessary precaution to prevent hackers from accessing voters’ sensitive information.

Last election, the United State Department of Homeland Security confirmed Russian hackers were responsible for the malicious 2016 cyber-attack on the Illinois Voter Registration System database that compromised personal information for as many as 90,000 Illinois residents.

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Cullerton measure aims to improve student loan debt

Sen. Tom CullertonA new law championed by State Senator Tom Cullerton will prevent state licensing boards from suspending or revoking individual licenses and certificates if a consumer defaults on their student loans.

“It is counterproductive and counterintuitive to take away someone’s capability to work because they are unable to pay bills,” said Cullerton, a Villa Park Democrat. “Obviously, if you cannot work you will not be able to pay your loans and will collect more debt. That cycle doesn’t benefit anybody.”

Student loans are the largest source of consumer debt in the United States, surpassing mortgages and credit cards debt.

Senate Bill 2439 puts provisions in place to prevent individuals with student loan default from having licenses denied, revoked or suspended in 37 professions, such as occupational therapists, barbers, teachers, structural engineers, home inspectors and real estate agents.

Student loan debt is the only type of debt in the U.S. that is not eligible for bankruptcy protections except in severe instances.

Read more.


In case you missed it


State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Shorewood: New bill to increase accessibility for dual-credit courses | Bugle

State Senator Melinda Bush, Grayslake: Why tech firm sees Gurnee as the ‘diamond prairie’ | Daily Herald

State Senator Kimberly A. Lightford, Maywood: The Janus effect: Will mainly African-American women pay? | WCBU

State Senator Pat McGuire, Joliet: McGuire says IDOT to implement rush suggestions | WJOL

State Senator Steve Stadelman, Rockford: State taskforce aimed at teaching work ethic to young adults | mystateline.com


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