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.

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castroequalSPRINGFIELD 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.”

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Castro2017resizedELGIN – Millions of American workers will now be vulnerable to decreases in their wages and benefits due to the Janus v. AFSCME U.S. Supreme Court ruling today that dealt a massive blow to unions across the country, garnering disapproval from State Senator Cristina Castro.

“Today’s ruling is an attack on organized labor, the same organized labor that marched the streets, boycotted and fought to ensure equality, fair wages and safety in the workplace,” said Castro, an Elgin Democrat.

SCOTUS’s decision will drastically harm the right for teachers, firefighters, police officers, child welfare workers and millions of other hard-working Americans to bargain for a dignified middle-class living.

“This is a step back for our country,” said Castro. “Illinois rejected Rauner’s scheme to remove organized labor, but thanks to his buddy Trump’s Supreme Court, he got what he wanted. I hope he is happy with this blow to working and middle-class families. I stand with organized labor today, and I will continue to fight for laws that will protect voices in the workplace.”

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hb2462SPRINGFIELD – 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.”

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ECC1SPRINGFIELD – Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White announced yesterday that the Illinois State Library is awarding 15 libraries an Illinois History-Digital Imaging grant.

In Senator Cristina Castro’s (D-Elgin) district, Elgin Community College’s Renner Academic Library will receive $10,356 for the “The Gil Renner Collection: Insight into the Genesis of the Illinois Community College System,” project.

“Protecting our state’s historical and cultural collections is essential for Illinois’ future,” Castro said. “History is such a vital part of our state and making it more accessible is important, especially for younger generations trying to connect with the past.”

Libraries were awarded the grant to carry out projects involving the selection, digital capture and storage of significant historical and cultural collections. The collections will also be available through the Illinois Digital Archives database preserved by the State Library.

The award gives the library grantees up to two years to complete the project with the grant funds. More information regarding the Illinois History-Digital Imaging Grant Program can be found here: http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/library/grants/il-history-digital-imaging.html.

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