config

Castro seeks answers, solutions at ethics commission hearing on lobbying

Published: Wednesday, January 15, 2020 03:56 PM

castro ethics 101520CHICAGO – The Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform met to discuss lobbying regulation Wednesday.

“I’m fed up with it, and I know the people of Illinois are fed up with it too,” said State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin). “It’s time we get to the bottom of the issue, figure out the root cause, and solve it once and for all in a way that prevents us from having to do yet another joint ethics commission a few years down the road.”

At Wednesday’s meeting, the commission focused on lobbying and lobbying reform. Representatives from the city of Chicago, the secretary of state, the Illinois Municipal League, and several other organizations were present to answer questions and provide insight.

“It’s clear that something needs to be done, but it can’t be one sided,” Castro said. “Whatever reforms come out of this commission will affect everyone, so we need to be sure that nobody faces undue burdens as a result.”

Castro sponsored the resolution to form the joint ethics commission last year, and was later appointed to sit on it. The commission has several additional meetings scheduled in the coming months and must file a report of its findings by March 31.

Castro wants to close legislative pay loophole

Published: Monday, January 13, 2020 12:42 PM

castro 060219SPRINGFIELD – A loophole in legislative pay law allowing legislators to receive an entire month’s pay despite not serving the full month would be closed under a proposal by State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin).

“In any other job, a person would not be compensated for an entire month if they only worked one day,” Castro said. “This is a glaring loophole that has been exploited far too many times at the taxpayers’ expense, and I’m sick of it. It needs to be closed.”

Castro: Covering up crimes should be punished, not rewarded

Published: Thursday, January 09, 2020 08:49 AM

castro 060219SPRINGFIELD – In response to a WBEZ report that a former lobbyist attempted to use cover ups as leverage in a friend’s upcoming disciplinary hearing, State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) released the following statement:

“If someone covers up crimes or unethical practices, they should be punished, not rewarded. It is unconscionable that the culture in Springfield has created an environment that allows behavior like this to occur. That’s why I have fought and will continue to fight for the ethical reforms that will make the people of Illinois regain trust in their government officials.”

Several Castro laws take effect in the New Year

Published: Thursday, January 02, 2020 01:13 PM

castro 060219SPRINGFIELD – Several new laws passed by State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) last year took effect Wednesday.

Senate Bill 455 allows a school nurse or school administrator to administer or supervise self-administration of medical cannabis infused products to a student who is a registered qualifying patient of the Medicinal Cannabis Pilot Program.

“Ideally, the parents of children who require medicinal cannabis would help with the administration process, but that’s not always possible,” Castro said. “By giving certain faculty members the ability to assist in the process, we’re allowing the kids who need these medicines as part of their treatments to receive them in a timely manner.”

Senate Bill 1191 allows a recently divorced individual to return to their pre-marriage surname without the need to publish a notice in a newspaper.

“A person shouldn’t have to jump through hoops in order to be called what they choose to be called,” Castro said. “Frankly, it’s a bit silly that this requirement even existed in the first place, and I’m glad to see that it no longer does.”

House Bill 3534 requires the Secretary of State to offer a non-binary gender option on state identification cards or driver’s licenses for individuals who do not have a male or female gender identity.

“The reality is that the male-female binary is not the full extent of possible gender identities,” Castro said. “This law allows individuals who identify as something other than male or female to feel comfortable when they look at the gender designation on their IDs and licenses.”

Other Castro-sponsored bills effective Jan. 1 include:

• House Bill 2156, which makes it unlawful for any business to offer consumers at retail a rebate card that charges dormancy fees and other fees after issuance of the card; and

• House Bill 2802, which requires a regional superintendent of a school district with fewer than 500,000 people to fill a vacancy on a school board within 30 days if the board failed to fill the vacancy after 60 days.

“2019 was a productive year, and I’m happy to see all the hard work pay off as these laws take effect,” Castro said.

A full list of bills that take effect today can be found here.

Sen. Cristina Castro

Senator Cristina Castro

22nd Senate District

Years served: 2017 - Present

Committee assignments: Appropriations I; Commerce and Economic Development; Committee of the Whole; Energy and Public Utilities; Labor; Revenue (Vice-Chairperson); Transportation; Veterans Affairs (Chairperson).

Associated Representative(s):
Anna Moeller
Fred Crespo