Belt encourages minority representation on corporate boards

Published: Thursday, May 30, 2019 02:43 PM

belt 053019SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Cahokia) passed a measure today seeking to increase minority representation on corporate boards.

Under the legislation, all publicly held corporations whose principal executive offices are located in Illinois would be required to submit information with their annual report regarding the gender and racial/ethnic make-up of their board of directors. 

The University of Illinois would then conduct a study to make recommendations on how to improve minority and female representation.

“Lack of diversity at the top often results in bad business decision-making,” Belt said. “By encouraging minority representation on corporate boards we are not only securing opportunities for minorities, but also promoting better business.”

Currently, only eight percent of the 77 Illinois Fortune 1000 companies have corporate boards composed of 20 percent or more women. Nationwide, black professionals make up only 6.3 percent of corporate boards. Asian Americans and Latinos make up 3.7 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

“The inclusion of different perspectives breeds an environment where innovation and creativity increase, which advances corporations’ progression,” Belt said.

House Bill 3394 passed the Senate and now goes back to the House for concurrence.

Belt announces tax credit for East St. Louis affordable housing development

Published: Tuesday, May 28, 2019 09:54 AM

belt 052819EAST ST. LOUIS – State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Cahokia) announced today that The New Broadview housing development project is one of the recipients of a federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.

“The creation of The New Broadview will allow East St. Louis senior citizens to remain independent in their community,” Belt said. “Most essentially, this development will provide a reasonably priced path towards equitable housing for low-income families.”

The New Broadview development is a planned renovation of the former Broadview Hotel into 109 affordable apartments for senior citizens.

The Illinois Housing Development Authority Board of Directors approved a total of $28 million in conditional awards to fund 25 affordable housing developments in 16 counties throughout Illinois.

The federal tax credits will generate an estimated $257.7 million in private capital to finance the creation and/or preservation of 1,864 affordable units for low-to moderate-income families, seniors, veterans and persons with special needs. 

Belt moves to end enhanced penalties for cannabis delivery at closed schools

Published: Friday, May 24, 2019 01:22 PM

old school 041019SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Cahokia) continued to act as a champion of criminal justice reform by passing legislation today removing the enhanced penalties for possession of cannabis on school grounds that are no longer operational.

Belt’s legislation amends the Cannabis Control Act to provide that the enhanced penalties for cannabis delivery on school grounds do not apply when the violation occurs in or on the grounds of a building that was formerly designated as a school but is no longer operational.

“The enhanced penalties were enacted to protect children, which is something I care deeply about,” Belt said. “Once a school has been shut down by an act of local government, however, it is no longer a school and perpetrators should be charged by the current laws of the land but without the enhancement.”

The current enhanced penalties of delivery of cannabis on school grounds are as follows:

  • Less than 2.5 grams: Class A misdemeanor
  • 2.5-10 grams: Class 4 felony and a fine not to exceed $50,000
  • 10 -30 grams: Class 3 felony and a fine not to exceed $50,000
  • 30-500 grams: Class 2 felony and a fine not to exceed $100,000
  • 500-2,000 grams: Class 1 felony and a fine not to exceed $200,000

“I have dedicated my life to advocating and championing the advancement of children,” Belt said. “I have written a children’s book that espouses safety and character education. I have created mentor programs to give back to the youth. I spent 18 years in law enforcement, the vast majority of which were dedicated in Juvenile Probation and Aftercare. As a lawmaker, I will always prioritize the safety of children.”

House Bill 160 passed both the Senate and the House and now awaits the governor’s signature.

Belt proposes anger management help for struggling students

Published: Wednesday, May 22, 2019 04:26 PM

belt 031319SPRINGFIELD – Anger management techniques for at-risk students will be supported under a measure sponsored by State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Cahokia).

Belt’s legislation requires the Emotional Intelligence and Social and Emotion Learning Task Force to include strategies and instruction on how to address the needs of students with anger management issues.

“Kids with anger management issues can have difficulty learning and can fall behind their classmates,” Belt said. “This task force will help us provide the tools to ensure the success of those students.”

The Illinois School Code does not require districts to offer anger management classes. Each district is given discretion on how to approach students who have exhibited behavioral problems.

Currently, districts are only required to provide violence prevention and conflict resolution education for students in grades K-12 if grant funds are available.

“At-risk students are more likely to face challenges like homelessness, learning disabilities and bullying, which could result in anger management issues,” Belt said. “Those students can benefit from learning coping methods that help them deal with their feelings.”

House Bill 3086 passed the Senate and now goes back to the House for concurrence.

Sen. Christopher Belt

Senator Christopher Belt

57th District

Years served: 2019–Present

Committee assignments: Criminal Law; Education (Vice-Chairperson); Energy and Public Utilities; Insurance; Labor; Licensed Activities; Subcommittee on Special Issues (IN); Opioid Crisis Abatement Spec. Com..

Associated Representatives:
LaToya Greenwood
Jay Hoffman