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  • Sen. Cristina CastroELGIN – Illinois consumers will receive their rebates in a fair way, thanks to Senator Cristina Castro’s bill that was signed into law Friday.

    House Bill 2156 makes it unlawful for retailers to offer consumers a rebate made on a store-value card – where the amount is on the card and not connected to a financial system – that charges inactivity fees or other post-issuance fees.

    “If a consumer is owed money from a rebate, they shouldn’t be hindered by dormancy fees,” said Castro (D-Elgin). “It is unlawful and unfair. Consumers shouldn’t be at risk of being charged for getting a rebate. That is their money.”

  • Sen. Cristina CastroSPRINGFIELD – Drivers will soon be able to choose a gender-neutral option to put on their driver’s license or ID cards under a new law by Elgin Democrat State Senator Cristina Castro.

    Castro’s law will allow applications to choose between “male,” “female” or “non-binary” when defining their sex on their driver’s license or ID card.

    “It has always been stressed that our driver’s license and state ID cards should be as accurate as possible,” Castro said. “Allowing a gender-neutral option only helps to make it more accurate. It has been long enough, and it’s time for not only the state, but also its agencies to adapt. I am happy to see the governor sign my bill.”

  • Sen. Cristina CastroELGIN – More workers, including those working for small employers, will have protection under a new law sponsored by State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin).

    “We have to ensure that every employee in the state has the same protections when it comes to discrimination in the work place,” Castro said. “Expanding the Illinois Human Rights Act is the right thing to do,” Castro said.

    House Bill 252 expands the Illinois Human Rights Act to include employers with one or more employees. Current law only applied to workplaces with 15 or more employees. This new law will give these employees a remedy for work-related discrimination and retaliation, including claims for discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, marital status, military status and sexual orientation.

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  • castro 050919SPRINGFIELD– State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) and State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) joined advocates from the Illinois Environmental Council, Illinois Sierra Club and Faith in Place at their annual lobby day and rally at the Capitol on Thursday.

    Castro and Bennett have both worked closely with these groups on legislation that would move Illinois toward a greener future.

    Castro is spearheading legislation that would create the Clean Energy Jobs Act, which would put goals in place for Illinois to work toward becoming 100 percent dependent on renewable energy by 2050. This measure would also promote jobs and economic opportunities for minority and disadvantaged communities.

  • Job interviewSPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate Labor Committee voted to approve Senator Cristina Castro’s (D-Elgin) legislation strengthening the Illinois Equal Pay Act.

    House Bill 834 would prohibit employers from asking about salary histories when interviewing job applicants. The measure would reduce the effects of pay discrimination from past jobs.

    “This legislation addresses a wide range of people” said Castro. “Men and women of all ages and backgrounds should have an equal chance to succeed, and that is what I will continue to fight for as a member of this General Assembly.”

  • State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) joins the Senate Showcase podcast to talk about Senate Bill 1719, the "KIDS Act", which aims to improve the level of consumer privacy when using electronic devices.

  • Castro 041819ELGIN – State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) participated in a press conference on Tuesday to bring awareness to distracted driving and to kick off a campaign that will help educate drivers on the different distractions on the road.

    “Many people think texting one quick message while driving is harmless,” Castro said. “We have to get the message across that this can be life-changing.”

    The Kane County High Visibility Enforcement (HiVE) campaign will kick off on April 26 and aims to encourage drivers to drive safely by elevating the police presence throughout the week. Data will be captured and studied to determine the effectiveness of the program and to help reduce deaths and injuries on the road.

  • Senator CastroSPRINGFIELD– Illinois consumers will hopefully have an added protection thanks to Elgin Democrat State Senator Cristina Castro.

    Under Castro’s legislation, consumers would be protected from misleading practices, especially seniors and working families. The measure would make it an unlawful practice to offer consumers a rebate card that charges dormancy fees or other post-issuance fee.

    “If a consumer is owed money from a rebate, they shouldn’t be hindered by dormancy fees,” said Castro. “It is unfair to the consumer. Consumers shouldn’t be at risk of being charged for getting a rebate. That is their money.”

    This measure was an initiative from the Illinois State Treasurer to prevent banks from taking unclaimed property on rebate cards. The State Treasurer and the Attorney General have worked together to protect Illinois consumers who have money owed to them from rebates.

    Senate Bill 222 passed the Illinois State Senate and will now move to the House for consideration.

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  • castro 030719SPRINGFIELD – 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.

  • Sen. Cristina CastroSPRINGFIELD – 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.”

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  • castro 013019SPRINGFIELD – Under a new proposal recently introduced by Senator Cristina Castro (Elgin-D), Illinois could see more women in the boardroom.

    Senate Bill 76 would require every publicly held domestic or foreign corporation whose executive offices are in Illinois to have a minimum of one woman on its board of directors.

  • castro 080818SPRINGFIELD – Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) issued the following statement today commending Gov. JB Pritzker for his commitment to immigrants, refuges and asylum seekers by expanding their access to welcoming centers.

    “With the current anti-immigrant environment in our country, I am excited to see our governor take strides towards creating a more welcoming atmosphere for our state’s immigrants.”

    “It is important that we inform immigrants about their rights and opportunities in Illinois and I am excited to work further with Gov. Pritzker on long-term immigration reform during this upcoming session.”

  • castro 050918 2ELGIN – Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) is praising Gov. JB Pritzker’s move to ensure that women can exercise their right to choose, regardless of their income level or place of employment.

    On Tuesday, Pritzker issued an executive order to enforce House Bill 40, which requires abortion coverage for individuals on Medicaid or covered by state employee health insurance plans.

    “It is necessary to ensure Illinois women continue to have the right to choose whether or not to move forward with a pregnancy,” Castro said. “These types of decisions should be between a woman, her family and her doctor. I am happy that Illinois is a state that continues to move forward and remains a safe place for women to legally exercise their right to make their own health care choices.”

  • castro 080818SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) commended Gov. JB Pritzker’s decision today to make a commitment to addressing a lingering health care crisis at the state’s veterans’ homes.

    “The Legionnaires’ outbreak was a public health crisis, but the previous administration’s behind the scenes scheming, secrecy and lack of communication with the very families affected made it even worse,” Castro said. “This executive order gives us a fresh start and an opportunity to renew our commitment to providing quality care for veterans. We owe it to them and their families to ensure type of health crisis never occurs again.”

    Pritzker issued an executive order today instructing the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to provide a report in the next 120 days examining the strengths and weaknesses of Illinois’ veterans’ homes and determine what efforts can be made to ensure that the brave men and women who served our country receive proper care.

    The order further directs veterans’ homes to develop procedures for communicating with families to ensure that they are no longer left in the dark about the care their loved ones are receiving.

    Senator Castro was named chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee this week and plans to continue working with the new administration to protect veterans.

    “I look forward to collaborating with Gov. Pritzker on this issue and others facing Illinois veterans,” she said. “We need to work together to provide our country’s heroes with the treatment they deserve when their service has concluded.”

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  • castro 010919SPRINGFIELD – Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) voted Wednesday to hit the reset button on the Illinois Toll Highway Authority Board and give the next governor the chance to increase transparency and ethics. 

    “The hiring and spending at the tollway has been disturbing. It was time to fumigate the board and start over,” Castro said.

    Multiple investigations done by the Daily Herald found that there was likely unethical behavior going on within the Illinois Toll Highway Authority involving political favoritism regarding its hiring practices and contracts.