Castro

  • Illinois Senate Latino Caucus demands the Trump administration reunite families immediately

    latinocaucusCHICAGO – On World Refugee Day, the Illinois Senate Latino Caucus demands an end to the Trump administration’s inhumane practices of ripping apart families at the border.

    As a result of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ orders in April to adopt a zero-tolerance policy for illegal border crossings, including people requesting asylum, more than 2,300 children have been taken from their families and held in inhumane conditions.

  • Castro urges governor to sign measure for Illinois consumer protection

    castro 051218SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) is urging Governor Bruce Rauner to sign House Bill 4922 into law to prohibit rebate cards that charge inactivity fees and avoid unclaimed property laws.

    HB 4922 recently passed the Illinois General Assembly with bipartisan support. The measure makes it unlawful for retailers to offer consumers a rebate made on a store-value card that charges “dormancy” or inactivity fees or other post-issuance fees.

  • Castro legislation protects nurses from workplace violence

    castro 053018SPRINGFIELD – Both the Illinois House and Senate passed legislation sponsored by State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) today to protect nurses from workplace violence.

    “Health care providers devote their lives to helping their patients,” Castro said. “It is time that we help them. Nurses deserve to come to work and feel safe.”

    This legislation is 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.”

    In Illinois, violence against a nurse is deemed a class three felony charge, but there are no laws that require health care employers to provide protection to nurses, staff, patients and visitors.

    House Bill 4100 will create the Healthcare Violence Prevention Act to protect health care providers, put in place a violence prevention program and add whistleblower protections for nurses that report violence to law enforcement.

    House Bill 4100 passed both the House and Senate and now moves to the governor’s desk for consideration.

  • Castro fights to break cycle of poverty and give youth the tools to be successful

    castro 052918SPRINGFIELD – Senator Cristina Castro’s (D-Elgin) measure that passed both chambers would help provide children in foster care and under supervision of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) the opportunity to go to college.

    Under House Bill 5122, certain youth from DCFS, who file for FAFSA and do not receive a DCFS fee waiver, would have the opportunity to receive a scholarship that would cover the remaining tuition and fees for any public institution of higher learning.

  • Castro: Children shouldn’t have to choose between medication and education

    castro 051718SPRINGFIELD– Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) is sponsoring legislation to allow students to have access to medical cannabis on school grounds.

    House Bill 4870 creates "Ashley's Law,” which would allow the administration of medical cannabis infused products on school premises or on the school bus to a student who is a qualifying patient.

    “Children shouldn’t have to choose between their medication and their education,” Castro said.

  • Castro works to expand Illinois Human Rights Act

    Sen. Cristina CastroSPRINGFIELD– Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) is pushing for stronger protections for Illinois workers.

    House Bill 4572 would expand the Illinois Human Rights Act to cover employers with one or more employees. The bill would give these employees a remedy under Illinois law for work-related discrimination and retaliation.

    Currently, only employers with 15 or more employees are covered under the Act.

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

  • Harmon introduces bipartisan measure to curb illegal gun trafficking (VIDEO)

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  • Senate Latino Caucus meets with immigration advocates (UPDATED)

    Senate Latino Caucus meets with immigration advocates

    SPRINGFIELD – Senate Latino Caucus members joined Senate President John Cullerton, President Pro Tempore Don Harmon and immigrant and refugee rights advocates this week to discuss the Senate’s recent actions taken to protect immigrant communities.

    “I’m the son of hard-working immigrants, and as an elected official it is my honor and duty to support policies that continue to give the immigrant community the opportunities my family has had in the United States of America,” Latino Caucus Co-Chair Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) said. “Donald Trump is trying to take away these opportunities in the land that I love, but policies like these give hope to our people and show we are a force that can use our sacred legislative process to fight back against bigotry.”

  • Castro protects undocumented immigrant tenants from landlord harassment

    castro 050918 2SPRINGFIELD – Senator Cristina Castro’s (D-Elgin) measure to protect undocumented immigrant tenants from landlord harassment passed the Senate today.

    Senate Bill 3103 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.

    “Most landlords do the right thing, but some try to take advantage of their tenants,” said Castro. “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.”

    Castro’s measure will 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.”

  • Castro: Children shouldn’t have to choose between medication and education (VIDEO)

    castro 050918SPRINGFIELD– Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) is sponsoring legislation to allow students to have access to medical cannabis on school grounds.

    House Bill 4870 creates "Ashley's Law,” which would allow the administration of medical cannabis infused products on school premises or on the school bus to a student who is a qualifying patient.

    “Children shouldn’t have to choose between their medication and their education,” Castro said.

    This measure is a result of a recent case of an 11 year old who uses medical cannabis to alleviate symptoms of her leukemia treatment. Although she is a qualified medical cannabis patient, her school is legally bound to prohibit her from administering her medicine at school under current state law.

  • Castro measure protects Illinois consumers from rebate fraud

    castro 042618SPRINGFIELD– Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) is working to ensure that Illinois consumers get rebates in a fair way.

    Senate Bill 3102 makes it unlawful for retailers to offer consumers a rebate made on a store-value card 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. “It is unlawful and unfair. Consumers shouldn’t be at risk of being charged for getting a rebate. That is their money.”

    The measure amends the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, which is designed to protect consumers against fraud and deceptive practices.

    In the past, companies would issue a rebate in the form of a check to a consumer. Under current law, if the check is not cashed within three years, the company is required to turn the amount of the check over to the Treasurer's Office as unclaimed property.

    The State Treasurer and the Attorney General have worked together to protect Illinois consumers who have money owed to them from rebates.  

    Senate Bill 3102 passed the Illinois Senate today 35-17 and now moves to the House for consideration.

  • Castro fights to break cycle of poverty and give youth tools to be successful

    castro 042518SPRINGFIELD – Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) passed a measure today that would help provide children in foster care and under supervision of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) the opportunity to go to college.

    Under Senate Bill 2846, certain youth from DCFS, after applying for FAFSA, would have the opportunity to receive a scholarship that would cover the remaining tuition and fees for any community college, university or college in Illinois.

    “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.”

    Currently, there are scholarship opportunities provided through DCFS, but the number is limited. Only 53 scholarships are provided each year and approximately 250 students apply annually.

    “This measure 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. Their talents and dreams shouldn’t be limited.”

    Castro’s measure will allow scholarship waivers to be available to students for at least the first five years that they are enrolled as long as they make progress toward completing their degree. The youth must enroll before the age of 26 to qualify.

    Senate Bill 2846 passed the Illinois Senate and will now move to the House for consideration.

  • Parks and recreation take center stage in the Capitol (VIDEO)

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  • Castro highlights dangers of distracted driving (VIDEO)

    castro 042318SPRINGFIELD– Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) held a press conference today to acknowledge Distracted Driving Awareness Week and discuss the risks of distracted driving. She was joined by State Representative Anna Moeller, along with representatives from the Illinois State Police, Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois Police Association and AAA Chicago.

    “Many people think texting one quick message while driving or taking their eyes off the road for a split second to change the radio is harmless,” Castro said. “We have to get the message across that this can be life-changing.”

  • Castro fights to ensure out-of-state businesses pay fair share

    castro 041718SPRINGFIELD – Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) is sponsoring a measure to ensure out-of-state businesses making sales in Illinois pay their fair share of taxes and meet the same requirements as in-state businesses.

    Senate Bill 2577 would establish guidelines for what constitutes an in-state business in regard to retailers that are not physically located in Illinois, but that sell to Illinois consumers.

  • Latino Caucus condemns Rauner’s readiness to send National Guard to border (VIDEO)

    sandoval 041218SPRINGFIELD –The Illinois Senate passed a resolution today condemning Gov. Bruce Rauner’s statement that he would comply should President Donald Trump order Illinois National Guard soldiers to the Mexican border.

    State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago), son of immigrants and Illinois Latino Caucus co-chair, sponsored the measure, Senate Resolution 1593, and had strong words for the governor.

  • Castro continues to fight for the protection of equal rights

    castro 031518SPRINGFIELD – The U.S. Constitution is one step closer to adopting a new constitutional amendment to guarantee gender equality.

    State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) worked with the Illinois State Senate to pass Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 4, which proposes to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the U.S. Constitution.

    “Illinois could play a part in this historic role in the fight for gender equality,” said Castro, a sponsor of the measure. “This fight has lasted over 40 years and Illinois could be the 37th out of the 38 needed to ratify the amendment to the U.S. Constitution, placing us on the right side of history.”

    Currently, there is not a Constitutional provision that specifically guarantees equality based on sex. Without the ERA, current laws protecting women’s rights are often ignored, weakened or even reversed. 

    “My responsibility is to represent the people of my community and state. This amendment protects both men and women,” Castro said. “By passing this, Illinois is taking a huge step in the right direction, not only for our state, but for our country.”

    SJRCA 4 passed the Senate with bipartisan support and now moves to the House for consideration.

  • Castro: It is irresponsible of Governor Rauner to use National Guard to help further president’s agenda

    castro 041118SPRINGFIELD – Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) released a response to Governor Rauner’s decision, if requested by President Trump, to send Illinois National Guard soldiers to the U.S.-Mexico border.

    “The members of the Illinois National Guard are a well-trained group ready to take on numerous responsibilities,” said Castro. “Providing political cover for the president’s growing personal scandals should not be one of them. It is irresponsible of Governor Rauner to use our National Guard to help further the president’s agenda.”

  • Castro announces $22.4 million in new funding for School District 46

    castro 031518ELGIN– Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) announced today that School district 46 will receive more than $22.4 million in new money under Illinois’ new education funding formula.

    The Illinois State Board of Education issued vouchers to the state comptroller on Thursday for school districts around the state to begin receiving their money under Illinois’ new evidence-based model.

    “The way our public schools have been funded has been unfair until now,” said Castro. “It is nice to finally have a plan that places the groundwork for public schools to be fairly funded by the state. Our teachers, our communities and most importantly our students deserve this.”

    The distribution is the first step to ensure that every school district receives equitable support from the state. The model ensures that schools will not receive less state funding than they do today.

  • Senate Dems celebrate Women's History Month (VIDEO)

    whm mainEvery March, Senate Democratic members take time to honor the contributions and achievements of women throughout our history.

    Women’s History Month dates back to 1987 when the National Women’s History Project petitioned Congress to designate the month of March as Women’s History Month. Since that time, every U.S. President has taken part in the tradition.