Castro

  • Hutchinson, Castro, Martinez join advocates in combatting maternal mortality

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  • Castro protects undocumented immigrant tenants from landlord harassment

    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.

  • Castro takes aim at unrealistic workloads for registered nurses

    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.”

  • Castro, Koehler urge increased renewable energy development and jobs

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  • Castro pushes measure to put more women on executive boards

    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: It’s important that immigrants know their rights and opportunities in Illinois

    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 continues to be a strong advocate for a woman’s right to choose

    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: governor’s executive order provides ‘a fresh start’ for veterans’ care

    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.”

  • Castro: ‘We’re just getting started’

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  • Castro hits reset button on Illinois Tollway

    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.

  • Castro responds to new legislative inspector general appointment

    castro 041118ELGIN – State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) released the following statement regarding the unanimous decision by the Legislative Ethics Commission to appoint Carol Pope as the legislative inspector general:

    “I am confident that Judge Pope will fulfill her duties and meet our expectations as the legislative inspector general. She will bring her experience and knowledge to our commission and help us move forward and become stronger.”

  • Castro’s new law provides youth with the tools to succeed

    castro 031518ELGIN – A new state law that goes into effect Jan. 1, 2019, will give children in foster care and under supervision of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) the opportunity to go to college, thanks to Elgin Democrat State Senator Cristina Castro.

    “Kids in foster care are less likely to attend college,” said Castro. “This affects their futures, including their income levels and employment stability. I don’t want there to be barriers for these kids who are in situations that they had no control over.”

    The law will allow certain youth from DCFS, who file for FAFSA and do not receive a DCFS fee waiver, to have the opportunity to receive a scholarship. The scholarship will cover the remaining tuition and fees for any public institution of higher learning in Illinois.

    “This law will give kids from DCFS the tools to be successful,” said Castro. “They will then go out and contribute to our economy and make the job market stronger in our state. Their talents and dreams shouldn’t be limited.”

    House Bill 5122 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support.

  • New Castro law creates additional protections for nurses

    castro 020718ELGIN – Starting Jan. 1, 2019, nurses will now be protected under the Healthcare Violence Prevention Act thanks to State Senator Cristina Castro’s new law.

    “Health care providers devote their lives to helping their patients,” Castro said (D-Elgin). “Now it is time that we help them. Nurses deserve to go to work and feel safe.”

    The new law creates the Healthcare Violence Prevention Act to protect health care providers, puts in place a violence prevention program and adds whistleblower protections for nurses who report violence to law enforcement.

    Castro introduced the legislation in response to an incident that occurred in Kane County on May 13, 2017, at Delanor Hospital. Two nurses were taken hostage by an inmate undergoing treatment who managed to obtain a handgun.

    “The incident that happened in my home county at Delanor Hospital was both alarming and upsetting,” Castro said. “These nurses went to work that day to do their jobs and help their patients, but instead they were assaulted. That’s why I brought forth this legislation. Our nurses deserve to be protected.”

    House Bill 4100 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support.  

  • Castro to help new governor create jobs

    castro 041118ELGIN – State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) was named to governor-elect JB Pritzker’s Job Creation & Economic Opportunity committee today at the 1871, which is a non-profit small business incubator that has created over 7,000 jobs.

    Castro currently sits on the Senate Commerce and Economic Development Committee and is excited to lean her expertise and practical experience to the new administration.

    “Our state’s economy is vulnerable right now. We need to prioritize economic growth and job creation so people can feel confident in the future and make Illinois their home,” Castro said. “I am excited to be a part of this vital committee and I can’t wait to get started.”

    The 37-member committee will have its first meeting one week from today where members will focus on opportunities across the state, diversity and ensuring small businesses have the tools to grow and thrive.

  • Latino Caucus reacts to Trump's birthright citizenship threats

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  • Castro urges override of wage gap bill

    Sen. Cristina CastroSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Cristina Castro met with colleagues today urging for an override of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a bill she sponsored to address Illinois’ gender wage gap in Illinois and protect working women.

    Had it become law, House Bill 4163 would have banned employers from asking prospective new employees about their salary history. This would ensure wages were based on experience rather than the employee’s history.

    “It’s a vicious cycle,” said Castro, an Elgin Democrat. “If a woman is unfairly paid a lower wage at one job, and that unfair wage can be used to determine her wage at her next job, then she might never be able to earn the wage she is duly deserved.”

  • Small business advocates call on Rauner to obey his own law

    castro 020718SPRINGFIELD – Advocates for small business are calling on Gov. Bruce Rauner to better implement a law he signed but has thus far neglected to enforce.

    State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) sponsored a law to ensure businesses benefiting from tax credits are taking care to do business with companies that are minority- or woman-owned. The legislation requires any business receiving an EDGE tax credit report on its supplier diversity numbers to the state.

  • Senate Latino Caucus denounces Rauner comments on pro-immigrant legislation

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  • Castro’s new law gives children access to their medicine on school grounds

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    ELGIN – Illinois children who are qualified medical cannabis patients will now have access to their medicine on school grounds thanks to Elgin Democrat, State Senator Cristina Castro.

    Castro’s bipartisan initiative creates "Ashley's Law” which allows for the administration of medical cannabis-infused products on school premises. It was signed into law Wednesday.

    “Children shouldn’t have to choose between their medication and their education,” Castro said. Qualified patients have the right to have access to their medicine no matter where they are. I’m happy to see this measure signed into law.”

  • Murphy seeks transparency at Tollway hearing

    Murphy072518At the urging of State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines), the Senate Transportation Committee convened a subject matter hearing on Tuesday morning in Chicago to discuss potential irregularities in Tollway procurement.

    Illinois Deputy Chief Procurement Officer Jan Morrow, Tollway Director Liz Gorman and Tollway Chief of Procurement John Donato testified on procurement policies for engineering contracts and how proposals are reviewed.

    “This was a good start to the conversation,” Murphy said. “We discussed the nuts and bolts of how contracts are awarded, but I’d like to see more transparency in the process. When politically connected organizations are awarded contracts, it erodes public confidence.”

    The hearing was called following the award of a $6.6 million subcontract to Morreale Communications which was tacked onto an engineering contract. The CEO of Morreale is married to Republican State Representative Michael McAuliffe.

    Though the Tollway contended that Morreale Communications disclosed the potential conflict of interest, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) remarked that it is important to avoid the impression of a conflict of interest, which can be just as undermining.

    During the hearing, State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) questioned some work Morreale was performing, such as writing speeches for the chairman of the Tollway, when the Tollway employs an 11-member communications staff. Donato testified that he believes Tollway communications staff’s budget is $1.6 million annually.

    The Tollway was also under fire for a $157 million contract with Omega and Associates, a company which employs the children of Tollway executives. The firm has also contributed to board members’ charities.

    “I’ll keep asking questions about these contracts and the award process,” Murphy said. “I believe the Tollway owes a transparent process and efficient use of funds to the public.”