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Castro to file legislation that will smooth process of investigations

Published: Thursday, December 07, 2017 08:28 AM

castro 092017SPRINGFIELD – Needless bureaucratic hurdles are slowing ethics investigations and need to be removed, state Senator Cristina Castro said in filing legislation to streamline the process.

“We have a skilled investigator on the job. We need to empower her to do that job and deliver results quickly,” said Castro, an Elgin Democrat and the newest member of the Legislative Ethics Commission.

Here’s the problem with the current system.

Castro to Rauner: Sign legislation so we can get to work

Published: Thursday, November 09, 2017 03:37 PM

castro 050417SPRINGFIELD – Despite legislation passed by both the Illinois House and Senate this week, there is still much to be done to fight sexual harassment in Springfield. Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin), the newest appointed member of the Illinois Legislative Ethics Commission, urged the governor to act quickly today.

“The newly appointed Inspector General and the Legislative Ethics Commission have work to do and we cannot get started with investigations until the governor signs these bills,” Castro said. “I am asking Governor Rauner to do so quickly so we can get to work as soon as possible on this time-sensitive issue.”

Although there were four measures passed in both chambers this week in regards to sexual harassment prevention training and legislation, this is only the first step. One of the four measures that passed this week creates a task force to ensure this issue is taken seriously and the conversation does not stop until the culture changes.

“Many people say the culture in Springfield is entrenched. Well, I’m new here and bring a fresh pair of eyes,” said Castro. “I am not afraid to speak out and be vocal on this issue. I have three years left to bring about real change and I have every intention to do just that. The topic of sexual harassment needs to be at the forefront of what we are doing and if need be, I will be the one who continues to beat the drum.”

Castro: “I will continue to be a strong advocate for women”

Published: Thursday, November 09, 2017 01:50 PM

castro 110917SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate failed to override a bill co-sponsored by Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) today that would make the Illinois Equal Pay Act stronger.

House Bill 2462 would have strengthened the Illinois Equal Pay Act by prohibiting employers from asking about previous salary histories when interviewing job applicants. The measure would reduce the effects of pay discrimination in past jobs.

“This legislation addresses the wide gap that is still prevalent between men and women, “Castro said. “Men and women of all races should have an equal chance to succeed and that is what I will continue to fight for as a member of this General Assembly.”

Employers currently can base hiring decisions and salary offers off of job applicants’ salary history. This measure would have protected women and people of color. This perpetuates wage inequality, especially when women already earn less than men for similar work. It has also been found that women of color earn even less than white women when compared to men. This bill would have protected both women and people of color.

“Women and people of color who enter the job market shouldn’t already be at a disadvantage based on their previous salary,” Castro said. “Not all employers discriminate, but we need to protect the employees that work for employers who do. Resolving the gender wage gap will take a concerted effort from both sides of the aisle. I will continue to be a strong advocate for women.”

Sen. Cristina Castro urges Governor Rauner to do his job

Published: Tuesday, October 31, 2017 10:28 AM

castro 050417ELGIN – Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) demanded today that the governor do his job and release the funds Harper and Elgin Community Colleges desperately need.  

After months of negotiations, the General Assembly put together a responsible and bipartisan budget that included cuts, reforms and revenue. Although the budget included $225,000 for Harper and Elgin Community Colleges, the state has not released the funds.

“I fought for a budget because I did not want to have this lingering uncertainty over Harper and Elgin Community Colleges and the work center,” Castro said. “It is important that we cover the cost of operating the Education and Work Center because it has a meaningful impact on the lives of the people in our community.”

Harper College partnered with Elgin Community College and the Chicago Cook Workforce at the Hanover Park Education and Work Center to provide services to community members. The center provides a variety of career skills development and English as a Second Language, basic adult education and high school equivalency instructions.

If the state does not release the funding, then the center might not be able to remain open beyond the fall semester.

“I am tired of Governor Rauner neglecting his duties,” Castro said. “The two-year budget impasse had a shattering impact on colleges and universities in Illinois and if he doesn’t release these funds, he will leave a lasting and staggering effect on the economy in my district.”

Sen. Cristina Castro

Senator Cristina Castro

22nd Legislative District

Years served: 2017 - Present

Committee assignments: Commerce and Economic Development; Committee of the Whole; Financial Institutions; Higher Education; Local Government; Telecommunications & InfoTechnology; Transportation (Vice-Chairperson).

Associated Representative(s): Anna Moeller, Fred Crespo