Castro

  • 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.

  • Cullerton, Haine, Castro: Governor’s lack of action raises more questions about handling of health crisis

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    Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park), Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, issued the following statement in response to the governor’s press conference at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy today:

    “Another press conference, another plan, another contradiction and more waiting for our military veterans and their families as Governor Rauner tries to hide his mistakes and failures. Three years later and Gov. Rauner is still drafting plans but refusing to take any action.

  • Lawmakers still looking for action on Legionnaires’ crisis

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  • Castro calls for Shah’s resignation; state public health department needs new leadership (VIDEO)

    castro 050417SPRINGFIELD– The director of Illinois’ public health agency should resign, State Senator Cristina Castro said today, pointing to new information that calls into question his priorities and his ability to lead in a crisis.

    Castro (D-Elgin) is urging Illinois Public Health Director Nirav Shah to resign after emails emerged, as reported by WBEZ radio, regarding the Rauner administration’s bungled response to the Legionnaires’ epidemic at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy.

    Castro said she is deeply concerned about the way Shah and others handled the disease outbreak and the deaths of 13 veterans.

  • Senate Dems react to governor's Fiscal 2019 budget address

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  • Collins, activists gather to oppose rate hike on check cashing (VIDEO)

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  • Senators outraged at news of two more confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease

    ivhq signVILLA PARK- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is outraged at news of two more confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy.

    "While the governor continues to live in a fantasy world, creating bureaucratic task forces and dodging requests for information, two more of our nation's heroes have tested positive for Legionnaires’ disease," Cullerton said. "Gov. Bruce Rauner has failed our veterans once again. Our nation's heroes need a solution now. They cannot afford to wait another three years for the governor to finally do his job."

  • Castro urges the governor and his administration to take charge

    castro 020718SPRINGFIELD – Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) continues to look for answers from state officials regarding a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak that caused 13 deaths in the last three years at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy.

    “I want to be part of a solution,” Castro said. “But that requires the Rauner administration – the people who are supposed to run state government – to come clean, be honest and actually put forth a plan to solve the problem.”

    At the Wednesday Veterans Affairs Committee meeting, Castro focused on a 2016 engineering report that the Rauner administration commissioned to try to solve the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at the Quincy home.

    The plan included replacing the plumbing in select facilities, including those that house the veterans most susceptible to infection. That 2016 report was never acted upon by the Rauner administration. Its existence was not made public until the evening prior to the committee hearing.

    Castro was stunned to learn of its existence and the administration’s failure to do anything with it even as the public health epidemic continued at the Quincy facility.

    “Why did the Rauner administration sit on this report and do nothing?” Castro asked. “The governor and his administration failed our veterans and now they’re trying to paper over their failure with new reports and bureaucratic red tape. That’s unacceptable.”

    The engineering firm is now being asked to expand the plumbing replacement to the entire campus, and Castro said it is long past time to act.

    “If the governor would have taken charge of the situation, he could have solved the problem back in 2016,” said Castro. 

  • Castro on Legionnaires’ disease outbreak: “Our veterans have fought to protect us; it is time for us to protect them.”

    castro 110917SPRINGFIELD – Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) attended the Senate and House Veterans Affairs Joint Committee Hearing regarding the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy. There have been over a dozen deaths caused by this disease in the past three years.

    “Governor Rauner’s administration should have taken immediate action three years ago,” said Castro. “His administration not being here today for this hearing shows me they aren’t taking this seriously. If they knew this was happening, why did they just sit on the CDC’s recommendations? Why did it take so long?”

    Legionnaires' disease is a severe form of pneumonia caused by bacteria found in plumbing systems. Thirteen residents at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy have died due to this disease over the past three years.

    “Pro-action, pro-action,” said Castro. “I’m tired of excuses. These are our veterans and they deserve dignity. A permanent solution needs to be found.”

  • Castro’s new law will protect veterans from cancellation fees

    phone contractELGIN – Veterans will be able to avoid the financial inconvenience of a cell phone or cable contract cancellation under a law sponsored by state Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin).

    The Elgin Democrat sponsored and passed House Bill 2449, allowing those in the armed forces to cancel or suspend certain contracts when they receive orders to relocate or are deployed. Businesses who don’t comply would be breaking the law under this act.

    “The brave men and women serving our country shouldn’t be penalized when they have to relocate or are deployed,” Castro said. “They are putting their lives on hold to protect and defend our country. The least we can do is make sure they have an easy way out of a binding contract when circumstances arise.”

    Currently, service members are allowed to suspend cell phone contracts, bulk long distance services, gas and electricity services, and property and motor vehicle leases. Under Castro’s measure, service members also will be allowed to terminate internet services, television and cable services, gym memberships and satellite radio services.

    The new law will apply to contracts entered into on and after Jan. 1, 2018.

  • Latino Caucus urges Congress to pass the DREAM Act now

    DREAM Act Now

  • Castro to file legislation that will smooth process of investigations

    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.

  • Latino Caucus supports Illinois National Guard troops deployed to Puerto Rico

    aquino 110917SPRINGFIELD-Illinois recently sent more than 100 Illinois Army National Guard troops to assist in the rebuilding of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, as many on the island continue to live without electricity or clean water.

    “Illinois has a large population of Puerto Ricans, and sending support to those who are struggling in their homeland is the right thing to do. I thank our troops who have been deployed to help as the people of Puerto Rico continue to rebuild,” said Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago), Co-Chairman of the Latino Caucus.

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

    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.”