SPRINGFIELD – 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.

Category: Information

motherSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) is leading the fight to ensure that mothers across Illinois are taken care during their pregnancy and after.

Castro is sponsoring a measure that will create the Improving Healthcare for Pregnant and Postpartum Individuals Act, which will outline a series of provisions to help combat the state’s maternal morbidity and mortality rate.

“We live in a time where women should not be dying from preventable causes after giving birth,” Castro said. “We need to ensure that we are monitoring new mothers for more than just a couple days or even weeks postpartum.”  

The Illinois Department of Public Health released a report in October 2018 after reviewing maternal deaths in the state and found that 72 percent of pregnancy-related deaths and 93 percent of violent pregnant-associated deaths were deemed preventable.

“Just because the pregnancy goes smoothly doesn’t mean the mother won’t have complications afterward,” Castro said. “We are careful to examine newborns and their progress after birth, so why shouldn’t we do the same for mothers?”

Senate Bill 1909 passed the Illinois State Senate with unanimous bipartisan support and will move to the House for consideration.

Category: Information

04252018CM0552SPRINGFIELD– Illinois consumers will hopefully have an added protection thanks to Elgin Democrat State Senator Cristina Castro.

Under Castro’s legislation, consumers would be protected from misleading practices, especially seniors and working families. The measure would make it an unlawful practice to offer consumers a rebate card that charges dormancy fees or other post-issuance fee.

“If a consumer is owed money from a rebate, they shouldn’t be hindered by dormancy fees,” said Castro. “It is unfair to the consumer. Consumers shouldn’t be at risk of being charged for getting a rebate. That is their money.”

This measure was an initiative from the Illinois State Treasurer to prevent banks from taking unclaimed property on rebate cards. The State Treasurer and the Attorney General have worked together to protect Illinois consumers who have money owed to them from rebates.  

Senate Bill 222 passed the Illinois State Senate and will now move to the House for consideration.

Category: Information

04262018CM0154SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) voted Thursday to increase Illinois’ minimum wage to $15 by 2025, saying the legislation will ease the burden on working class families and the state.

“In the past, individuals could work 40 hours a week on the minimum wage and meet their financial responsibilities,” Castro said. “Now, that kind of income barely covers basic needs, especially those who provide for an entire family.”

Senate Bill 1 would incrementally raise the minimum wage from $8.25 per hour to $15 per hour by 2025.

“The gradual increase will allow for businesses to adapt to the new law,” Castro said. “We’re committed to making sure local economies adapt to a new wage structure that will ultimately save money for all taxpayers, as fewer working families have to rely on government services to survive.”

Senate Bill 1 passed the Illinois Senate and now awaits consideration in the House.

Category: Information

Contact Info

District Office:
The Professional Building
164 Division Street, Suite #102
Elgin, IL 60120
847-214-8864 phone
847-214-8867 facsimile

Springfield Office:
121 D Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
217-782-7746 phone


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