05192017CM0079Parents throughout Illinois may soon have greater resources available to them to ensure their children are in safe hands.

State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) passed a measure through the Illinois Senate on Tuesday that would require the Department of Children and Family Services to establish and maintain an online searchable database with information on reports of child abuse or neglect in day care facilities.

“Parents have the right to know their children are in safe hands,” said Castro. “We need to make sure day care facilities are providing a safe environment. If a facility has been cited for neglect or has had its license revoked, that information should be made public so parents are able to make sure their children aren’t being put in a potential harmful situation.”

The measure would require the DCFS database to go back five years and show if a day care entity has had its license revoked or surrendered by the department during a child abuse neglect investigation, or if its license renewal was denied.

The measure, House Bill 2388, passed the Senate on Tuesday and now goes to the governor’s desk for approval.

Category: News

Budget The Illinois Senate voted on pieces of the bipartisan grand bargain today in another attempt to keep discussions going and solve the state’s budgetary issues. State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) released the following statement:

“Yesterday, we worked to pass components of the grand bargain that would help get the state back on track. While we were able to have some success with passing a budget bill, there are still significant negotiations that need to occur to get the state heading in the right direction and to see a full budget plan materialize. There is no easy solution, but I stand committed to working with my colleagues to see this through.”

Category: News

04272017CM0374A measure that would protect college students from mounting student loan debt passed the Illinois Senate on Wednesday.  

Senate Bill 1351 establishes the Student Loan Bill of Rights in Illinois to provide as much protection as possible for student borrowers, a population that frequently is targeted by bad actors in the student loan industry.

State Senator Cristina Castro (D- Elgin), who is a co-sponsor of the legislation, noted how important it is to make sure both transparency and fairness is brought to the student loan lending system.

“Going to college shouldn’t be the financial burden it has become,” said Castro. “Too often, young people are graduating from universities with crippling debt and have no idea what resources are available to them, or understand their rights as a borrower. This legislation would bring clarity to the process and prevent more young people from defaulting on their loans.”

The Student Loan Bill of Rights would help to ensure students and their families receive clear information about the money they borrow for higher education and how their student loans are serviced.

The legislation received significant bipartisan support and now goes to the House for consideration.

Category: News

HB40 The Illinois Senate voted Wednesday to ensure women in Illinois will continue to safely and legally exercise their right to choose whether or not to have an abortion.

House Bill 40 removes the "trigger" provision from a 1975 Illinois law that would reinstate a previous state policy banning abortion in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. Additionally, the legislation would allow abortion coverage for individuals on Medicaid or covered by State Employee Health Insurance plans.

State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin), a chief co-sponsor of the measure, stated Wednesday that it is absolutely necessary to ensure Illinois women continue to have the right to choose to move forward with a pregnancy.

“These types of decisions should be between a woman and her doctor,” Castro said. “We need to make sure women have a safe place to legally exercise this right. Illinois should be a state that continues to move forward and helps to preserve the rights of women. Should the federal courts overturn Roe V. Wade, it would mean overturning 40 years of progress for civil rights. Today I voted to safeguard those rights. I urge the governor to sign this legislation into law.”

House Bill 40 passed the Senate Wednesday and will be sent to the governor for approval.

Category: News


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